NOOKSACK - The Nooksack Valley girls' basketball team relied on its depth in its 58-31 victory over South Whidbey in the first round of the Class 1A District Tournament Monday, Feb. 4.
The Pioneers (14-7) had 10 players score and six had five or more points in the win, which advances them to the tournament semifinals and a Wednesday, Feb. 6, meeting with Lynden Christian.
"We got out to a great start," Nooksack Valley coach Shane Wichers said. "We shot the ball really well and moved the ball around and found open shots and made them."
Nooksack Valley jumped out to a 9-0 lead to start the game and would finish the first quarter up 24-8 on the Falcons. They didn't allow a bucket until 3 minutes, 25 seconds of game time had played out.
The Pioneers defense also held through the second quarter, only allowing four points, while Nooksack Valley scored 13 of it own.
Nooksack Valley held South Whidbey to 5-of-14 shooting in the first half, while shooting 15 of 30 itself.
"We continued to pressure them," Wichers said. "I was pleased with how we got open, though. I wanted to really use our depth to wear them out tonight, because I knew they weren't that deep and that we have to play a minimum of three games this week."
The starting five for Nooksack scored 26 of the team's 37 first-half points before sitting out for much of the second half after building a 37-12 lead at halftime.
Lindsay Hayes scored nine points in the first half and had three of the Pioneers' 15 total steals.
"I just really wanted to win tonight," Hayes said. "But this is just another step higher to where we want to go. We need to come out right away like we did tonight (on Wednesday against Lynden Christian)."
Hayes said the team was able to get into a rhythm by passing the ball after driving it in and finding the open player.
Wichers said Hayes shot the ball really well tonight and gave her team a lot of confidence.
"When you have someone making those shots, it's contagious," Wichers said. "The other players really caught on, and the team really got going."
Lindy Swanson led Nooksack Valley with 12 points, three steals and three rebounds, and Melissa Stadt scored eight. Both Swanson and Stadt had limited playing time in the second half.
Nooksack's bench scored 15 of the team's 21 second half points, while limiting South Whidbey to 19 to secure the win. Payton Linville led the reserves with seven points.
The Pioneers forced 25 turnovers and limited their own to just 12.
Nooksack Valley will face Lynden Christian for the second time this season. The Lyncs won the first 38-37 the first on Jan. 26.
"We know they will come out strong and will pressure us," Wichers said. "We have to make it as hard as possible for them to shoot and force them to use their third option. We need to execute on offense and make great baskets."
NOOKSACK VALLEY 58, SOUTH WHIDBEY 31
South Whidbey 8 4 8 11 - 31
Nooksack Valley 24 13 10 11 - 58
South Whidbey: Aly Chapman 0, Kristen Schuster 0, Morgan Mackie 0, Anne Madsen 4, Madi Boyd 3, Abby Hodson 4, Ellie Greene 17, Annalies Schuster 3, Hailey Simchuk 0, Morgan Davis 0, Meagan Longdon 0, Mykayla Ferguson 0. Team totals: 12-38 6-9 31
Nooksack Valley: Kaycee DeBruin 2, Taryn Tenkley 6, Payton Linville 7, Lauren Dykstra 5, Lindsay Hayes 9, Julie Campos 0, Mariah Perry 3, Lindy Swanson 12, Morgan Perry 0, Cheyanna Maxwell 4, Fiona Chapman 2, Melissa Stadt 8. Team Totals: 23-57 8-11 58
3-ptg: South Whidbey 1 (Greene 1), Nooksack Valley 4 (Swanson 2). Rebounds: South Whidbey 20 (Hodson 5), Nooksack Valley 25 (two players at 5). Assists: South Whidbey 3 (Greene 1), Nooksack Valley 15 (Mariah Perry 6). Fouls: South Whidbey 6 (none), Nooksack Valley 14 (none). Turnovers: South Whidbey 25, Nooksack Valley 12.