LYNDEN - Courtney Hollander said she felt under the weather, but that didn't prevent her from achieving a remarkable early focus against an overwhelmed girls' basketball opponent.
By the time Lynden Christian had 16 points, the quick 5-foot-11 junior guard had three baskets, four assists and five steals in the top-seeded Lyncs' 55-18 victory over Coupeville on Monday, Feb. 4, in the opening round of Class 1A Northwest District Tournament.
"It's way harder to get to the state tournament this year," Hollander said, realizing the Lyncs will have to go through district, tri-district and a one-game regional elimination contest just to get to the eight-team main event. "So, every game we have to come out and play our hardest."
The Lyncs (18-3) doubtless will have to play hard and then some in a semifinal against rival Nooksack Valley (14-7) on Wednesday, Feb. 6, again on LC's court.
The proof of that? Nooksack recently took LC to the limit near the end of the Northwest Conference season before the Lyncs prevailed 38-37.
LC coach Curt DeHaan wasn't surprised at Hollander's 5-for-6 shooting for 10 points in her 15-minute stint. She finished with five assists, five steals and zero turnovers in the caliber of effort that figures to make her a highly watched senior.
"Courtney had 10 for 12 shooting against Friday Harbor," said DeHaan, who didn't stop coaching with his typically intent focus for a single moment in spite of the lopsided score.
That coaching focus is why Hollander and Kayla Tiemersma wound up slamming to the court for loose balls with huge leads, and why Sally Vlas ripped the ball out of a crowd and scored to give the Lyncs a 36-8 advantage in the third quarter. That was shortly before the starters gave way to the reserves.
Coupeville (6-15) never quit, but the Wolves had fewer field-goal attempts in a scoreless second quarter (six) than the Lyncs had steals (seven).
In fact, LC finished with nearly three times as many steals (22) as Coupeville had baskets (eight) while the Lyncs took advantage of 40 turnovers by the Wolves.
In short, the Lyncs - who often thrive with their ferocious 2-2-1 press - looked more than ready to challenge anyone defensively.
"At times, we had some really good moments when we all played together really well as a team," Hollander said.
All of the regulars, indeed, had bright moments as none played more than 20 minutes. Point guard Makayla Lancaster, a 5-foot-5 sophomore, scooted her quick way to eight rebounds. Karley De Jager had eight points and zero turnovers, and senior post Kayla Tiemersma went 3 for 6 and contributed eight points. Vlas shot 5 for 10 for 10 points.
The three reserves in the regular rotation had their moments, too. Sophomore post Sara Dougan had a game-high nine rebounds, sophomore guard Kassidy Aldrich made four steals and freshman forward Kara Bajema chipped in with three steals and two assists.
The Lyncs led 40-10 after three quarters, but their reserves also looked tough while dominating the fourth quarter 15-8.
LYNDEN CHRISTIAN 55, COUPEVILLE 18
Coupeville 5 0 5 8 - 18
Lynden Christian 12 18 10 15 - 55
Coupeville: Bessie Walstad 6, Bree Messner 4, Kacie Kiel 2, Lauren Escalle 2, Makana Stone 2, Hailey Hammer 2, Amanda Fabrizi, Madi Strassburg, Jai'Lysa Hoskins, Rhiannon Ellsworth, Haley Marx, Katie Kiel. Team totals: 8-30 2-9 18.
Lynden Christian: Courtney Hollander 10, Sally Vlas 10, Karley De Jager 8, Kayla Tiemersma 8, Makayla Lancaster, Kara Bajema 1, Sara Dougan 7, Kassidy Aldrich 4, Morgan Van Kooten 3, Emma Stump 2, Haley Hollander 2, Carli Tjoelker. Team totals: 24-61 7-18 55.
3-ptg: none. Rebounds: Coupeville 23 (Hammer 8); LC 36 (Dougan 9). Assists: Coupeville 4 (Walstad 2); LC 15 (Hollander 5). Fouls: Coupeville 12, LC 14. Turnovers: Coupeville 40, LC 18.