LYNDEN -- Lynden coach Brian Roper has two of the state's great statistics after spending only 12 days on the basketball court.
Six practices and six victories along with three Sundays of physical, and more so mental, rest.
Lynden scored a 66-59 double-overtime victory over Sehome in a non-league thriller on Monday, Dec. 23. Scooter Hastings' 20 rebounds and 21 points before an exhausted but enlightened crowd at Jake Maberry Gym helped run the Lions' record to 6-0 overall, 1-0 Northwest Conference.
The entire Lynden boys' basketball team was a part of the football team which won the Class 2A state title on Dec. 7. They then jumped into the required five days of hoops practice before beginning basketball games Dec. 14.
The result was something worth seeing on Monday, although Sehome (3-3, 0-1) also provided enough fast-moving plays to make the Mariners believe they can beat pretty much anyone.
"We really were lucky to get out of this game with a win," said Roper. "We need some time to practice."
Indeed, the young Mariners would have beaten the Lions if Lynden point guard Jaremy Martin hadn't made an off-balance 3-pointer from the corner at the buzzer, sending the game into overtime at 49-all.
Sehome's often-amazing Evan Miksovsky - who had a game-high 25 points while shooting 10 for 20 from the field - scored on a drive and a 3-pointer, which was followed by a 3-pointer by Lynden's Jalani Phelps on a drive by Sterling Somers for a 54-all tie.
At that point, Sehome's Tanner Clark made a free throw, but Lynden's Scooter Hastings drove for a bucket with six seconds remaining for a 56-55 lead.
Miksovsky - who demonstrated remarkable mental determination despite going 0 for his first 10 from the free throw line - was fouled with four seconds remaining. He made the first and missed the second, meaning a second overtime was needed.
Miksovsky, who at 6-2 is as tall as Lynden's shortest starter, scored all three Sehome points in the second overtime and never lost his usual intensity as the only player on either team to go the entire 40 minutes.
But the Lions began the second OT with a muscle drive on the baseline by Martin, then followed with free throws by Hastings and Martin for a 60-56 lead before Miksovsky broke through with a driving lay-in off the glass.
Martin soon scored again on a rebound, Hastings followed with a three throw, Somers hit a pair from the line and sophomore Jordan Wittenberg wrapped it up with a free throw for the game's final point with 15.6 seconds remaining.
"We played hard, but we need to knock down our free throws," said Sehome coach A.J. LaBree, who saw his team go 6 for 22 from the line. "But I'm always proud of our guys and I was tonight."
Hastings, Lynden's smooth 6-foot-7 junior post, came out hard with seven rebounds in the opening quarter. But he took only five shots in the first half and made three for 6 points on the way to these eye-popping final stats of 20 rebounds and 21 points while taking just 12 shots from the field, making seven of them.
Lynden took an unusually high 32 3-point attempts and made nine, including 4 by 6-4 sophomore Sterling Somers, who finished with 18 points to go with 14 points by Martin and 10 from Phelps. Martin also had 11 rebounds and a game-high six assists. Trey Shagren, a 6-3 junior, had four assists and two steals.
"We made some big shots in the second half," said Roper.
Sehome went 7 for 21 from 3-point range - for an unbelievable 53 3-point attempts by both teams combined - with two made 3-pointers apiece by Leif Anderson and Tanner Clark, who finished with 11 points, three steals and three assists. Anderson scored 9, Langston Engle chipped in with 6 points, and Duncan James and key reserve Sam Carroll scored four each.
With his 20 rebounds, Hastings came close to Sehome's total of 29. But Miksovsky's 12 rebounds were no small feat, considering how tall and strong the entire Lynden lineup is.
The Lions looked every bit like the championship-caliber football players they are, but they also seemed as though they'll bid for the Northwest Conference boys' hoops title.
Sehome will face Cashmere at 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 27, at Lynden Christian's Cloud 9 Sports Classic. Lynden has five more practices, much to Roper's relief, before it will play King's on Monday, Dec. 30.
LYNDEN 66, SEHOME 59 (2 OT)
Sehome 15 10 11 13 7 3 -- 59
Lynden 12 9 18 10 7 10 -- 66
Sehome: Evan Miksovsky 25, Tanner Clark 11, Langston Engle 6, Sam Carroll 4, Leif Anderson 9, James Duncan 4, Elijah Andrushenko 0, Marcus Montag 0. Team totals: 23-53 6-22 59.
Lynden: Scooter Hastings 21, Sterling Somers 18, Jaremy Martin 14, Jelani Phelps 10, Trey Shagren 0, Parker Harrison 2, Jordan Wittenberg 1. Team totals: 22-59 13-26 66.
3ptg: Miksovsky 3, Anderson 2, Clark 2 (Sehome); Somers 4, Martin 2, Phelps 2, Hastings 1 (Lynden). Rebounds: Sehome 29 (Miksovsky 12); Lynden 43 (Hastings 20). Assists: Sehome 8 (Clark 3); Lynden 17 (Martin 6). Total fouls: Sehome 18 (James fouled out); Lynden 18 (Phelps fouled out). Turnovers: Sehome 14, Lynden 14.