Jordan Deardorff continually thinks about the early exit he and his Lummi boys' basketball teammates made in the regional round of the Class 1B State Tournament last year.
To help avoid a second-straight postseason loss, Deardorff made sure his team jumped out to an early lead by coming off the bench to score a team-high 17 points in the Blackhawks' 76-31 win over Highland Christian on Saturday, Feb. 2, in the first round of the Class 1B Northwest District Tournament.
Lummi (16-3), which already has locked up a trip to the 1B tri-district tournament with the win, advances to play Mount Vernon Christian in the semifinals of the district tournament at 8:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at Mount Vernon Christian.
Deardorff scored 10 points during a one-minute stretch at the end of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth. Deardorff also had three of his four steals in that span.
"Jordan is one of those guys that provides a spark off the bench for us," Lummi coach Jerome Toby said. "He can get those shots outside and really open things up, but then he can create shots for other guys too. He had a really solid game off the bench tonight."
Deardorff was 5 for 7 shooting and made three 3-pointers for the Blackhawks.
"It really makes me want to play harder," Deardorff said about last year's early exit. "I want to make sure I am playing hard and do everything I can to get further. I thought we played pretty good tonight, but we need to work on boxing out more for the next games."
Lummi had 28 rebounds to Highland Christian's 22.
The Blackhawks relied on their pace to force 28 turnovers, while only turning the ball over eight times. The Lummi defense also shut down Highland Christian, only allowing three players to score and limiting the Knights to three quarters with six or fewer points.
Kavarez Lane also provided a spark for Lummi, scoring 15 points, all in the first three quarters.
"Kavarez can really score, and score in spurts," Toby said. "I thought he had a really good game defensively. I am really looking forward to his future, since he's only a sophomore."
Lane set the tone for the rest of the game when he scored the first bucket - a 3-pointer in the first 5 seconds.
"There wasn't any extra pressure tonight," Lane said about this game being the first postseason game of the year for Lummi. "I was able to drive it in and crash the boards."
Lane had five rebounds, while Logan Toby grabbed a team-high eight.
"I am really proud of the boys tonight because they played hard, but we still have some areas we need to improve on if we are going to make a deep run in the playoffs," Jerome Toby said. "We will get back to work on cleaning up our defense and controlling the paint more. We were aggressive though, and everyone gave 110 percent."
LUMMI 76, HIGHLAND CHRISTIAN 31
Highland Chr. 6 6 14 5 - 31
Lummi 22 17 17 20 - 76
Highland Christian: Grady Portinga 0, Dakota Andrews 0, Tim Matthews 13, Brian Matthews 0, Jordan Star 2, Mick Boe 0, Edward Lee 0, Jake Star 0, Colten Wold 16. Team totals: 13-41 5-8 31
Lummi: Earl Johnson 4, Dean Williams 0, Jordan Deardorff 17, Leo Scarborough 4, Eli Wall 7, Logan Toby 2, Richard Edwards 0, Willie Jones 13, Joe Brady 6, Kevin Cultee 4, Kavarez Lane 15, Charlie Wilson 4. Team totals: 30-75 12-19 31
3-pointer: Highland Christian 0, Lummi 4 (Deardorff 3). Rebounds: Highland Christian 22 (Wold 11), Lummi 28 (Toby 8) Assists: Highland Christian 3 (3 players at 1), Lummi 5 (Brady 2) Fouls: Highland Christian 12, Lummi 8. Turnovers: Highland Christian 28, Lummi 8.