YAKIMA - The Lynden basketball team only got to start five on Thursday, Feb. 28, in its Class 2A state quarterfinal against Yakima West Valley, but it sure seemed like six.
The way junior forward Jaremy Martin came off the bench, you would have thought for sure that he had been on the court long before introductions were finished.
But no, he did not enter until 1 minute and 45 seconds had ticked off the scoreboard clock on the north court at the Yakima Valley SunDome.
It definitely didn't take him that long to make his presence felt, though, as Martin was a key component in the Lions' 60-42 victory over Yakima West Valley.
"I just try to go in and do whatever this team needs me to do," Martin said. "It may not be my time to start, but I know I can make a valuable contribution when I get out on the floor."
Martin's contribution included 12 points, but that was only a small part of the story.
He was a big part of Lynden's first-half domination on the offensive glass, grabbing three offensive rebounds to go with his one defensive board. He even added another offensive rebound in the second half.
"We just wanted to crash the boards and get as many as we could," said Martin, who entered the game averaging 5.9 points off the bench this season. "John (Shine) did an amazing job getting to a lot of them, and I just tried to follow what he was doing."
It took Martin less than two minutes of game action to do just that, as he grabbed a missed 3-pointer by Shine and fed fellow reserve Scott Hastings for a layup to give Lynden a 9-2 lead with 4:10 to play in the first half.
Almost a minute and a half later, Martin put back a Matt Meyer miss to make the score 15-5.
Martin's third offensive board came with 3:21 to play in the first half and led to a pair of free throws by John Shine.
"I just tried to attack and finish things up," Martin said. "I just wanted to make a difference for the team."
He certainly did that for Lynden, and not just on the offensive end of the court.
Martin's big, active body was a part of the reason Lynden was able to hold West Valley's Austin Strock to 13 points - two below his season average.
"He was a huge spark for us," Lynden coach Brian Roper said. "He came in and he was aggressive. He brought an amazing amount of energy to the court. He played ... four positions for us, and he played them all well. He was kind of a jack of all trades for us."
Though Martin was definitely the most notable, he wasn't the only player to come off the bench and make a difference for Lynden on Thursday.
Hastings scored four points and grabbed five rebounds in the first half and added two second-half assists.
"Scooter is no longer a sophomore for us," Roper said. "He's 6-6 with those long arms, and he can do a whole lot for us. He had a couple real nice assists for us."
Reach David Rasbach at email@example.com or 360-715-2286.
Reach DAVID RASBACH at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-2271.