LAUREL - When a Yost sets a Mount Baker girls' basketball record, it's also a Yost girls' family record.
Junior center Emily Yost, connecting on 15 of 22 field-goal attempts, scored 39 points in Baker's 73-41 non-conference victory over Meridian in a season opener for both teams on Monday, Dec. 2.
Meridian looked anything like the 1-19 team the Trojans were last season, pulling within 35-28 late in the second quarter as freshman Ryley Zapien looked like one of the best point guards the school has had in a long time.
But this was Yost's night, and her teammates recognized that after the 5-foot-10 post had only four points in the opening quarter.
"My teammates really did a great job of feeding me the ball. They really wanted me to have the record," said Yost, whose record was made possible by the ferocious board work of 5-10 sophomore Emily Brandland, who grabbed a dozen rebounds, and the general excellence of 5-7 senior guard Emma Lallas.
There was no doubt that Yost, who grabbed 14 rebounds, was hungry for the record.
"I think Emily was really excited about it," said longtime Baker coach Brenda Ellis, who recalled how thrilled she was to set Bellingham's girls' single-game scoring record in the late 1980s. "Emily works super, super hard and she was working so hard tonight. And Meridian has really improved."
Emily is the third Yost sister to play hoops at Baker (with two more sisters to go). It turned out there was a bit of a back story to her record excitement.
"My mom (Kay Yost, Baker class of 1983) couldn't play her senior year because of a car accident," said Baker assistant coach Terri Yost. "The girl who took her place in the lineup was a freshman, Susan Anderson. My mom helped all the girls that year (as a student coach)."
Ellis said Anderson's school record of 38 popped into her mind after she took out Emily early in the fourth quarter with 35 points. The coach figured Yost would be a fitting record-holder if she could set the mark, so she put her back in for two more shots -- and she made both.
Meridian has six players, including Zapien, off the school's state tournament-qualifying soccer team, so it was no surprise the Trojans had five different scorers fuel a 14-11 first-quarter lead.
That included including 5 for 5 free throw shooting by Zapien, who did not go to the line again but finished 5 for 11 from the field.
"That freshman is a good little player," Ellis said of Zapien.
First-year Meridian coach Mark Gilmore couldn't have agreed more about the 5-6 yearling.
"She's played a lot of basketball," said Gilmore, noting what a standout Zapien has been in youth leagues. "She's a really good athlete, and she should get better."
For that matter, the entire Trojan team should get better, said Gilmore, who was a three-year varsity regular at Meridian and led the Trojans to the state tournament in 1980, his senior year.
"Our girls have a good attitude and they started very strong," said Gilmore, whose team often beat Baker's man-to-man defense in the first quarter. "We just have to learn to sustain it."
Ellis, who has everyone back, said Baker most likely "will be primarily a zone team" this season. The Mountaineers have been known to run a devasting zone press with man tendencies.
With powerful players like Yost, Brandland and Lallas, most teams may well find rebounds and penetrating the middle will both be tough tasks.
Yost scored 25 points in the middle two periods as the Mountaineers outscored the Trojans 46-19 during that span. Lallas contributed 7 of her 9 points and Kylee Engholm hit a 3 and a 2 in the second quarter to help take the lead for good.
Baker's Korrinna Camacho, a returning senior guard, displayed her outside shooting potential with a pair of 3s.
Allecia Gallindo, one of the Trojans' six seniors, chipped in with 7 points and Janessa Murphy worked hard on the boards with 7 rebounds, as did Taylor Lunde.
MOUNT BAKER 73, MERIDIAN 41
Mount Baker 11 28 28 16 -- 73
Meridian 14 14 5 8 -- 41
Mount Baker: Emily Yost 39, Emma Lallas 9, Emily Brandland 4, Rayedeen Engels 2, Kylee Engholm 5, Korrinna Camacho 7, Emmy Cline 3, Jessa Baisden 4, Sarah Cline 0, Alyssa Linderman 0. Team totals: 26-70 15-22 73.
Meridian: Ryley Zapien 15, Taylor Lunde 4, Sydney Swanson 4, Janessa Murphy 4, Allie Mack 4, Allecia Galindo 7, Kendra Holmes 3, Grace Pyles 0, Hailey Belanger 0, Madeline Gray 0. Team totals: 17-55 7-9 41.
3-ptg: Camacho 2, Engholm, Yost, Lallas, E. Cline. Rebounds: Mount Baker 36 (Yost 14, Brandland 12); Meridian 26 (Murphy 7, Lunde 7). Assists: Baker 10 (Lallas 4); Meridian 6 (Zapien 3). Fouls: Mount Baker 16, Meridian 21.