LYNDEN - Lynden Christian's young and largely inexperienced boy's basketball team may not have earned the signature early-season win it was hoping for, but coach Roger De Boer learned his Lyncs can hang with the state's best Class 1A competition.
Neither team led by more than six points throughout, but with the game even at 45-45 with 1:20 left, Brewster made the crucial buckets Lynden Christian wasn't able to convert.
"I think the difference was they have more experience than us, and really when they needed the big plays to happen they executed their stuff," De Boer said.
Brewster guard Easton Driessen drilled an 18-footer to give his team a two-point lead with less than a minute left, and the Bears extended their lead to five after the Lyncs managed just a point during back-to-back possessions.
Lynden Christian's Grant Wolffis hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, but it wasn't enough as the Lyncs suffered a hard-fought 51-49 non-league loss to Brewster during day one of the Cloud 9 Sports Christmas Classic on Friday, Dec. 27, at Lynden Christian.
LC's Zach Roetcisoender scored a team-high 16 points and also grabbed a team-best 10 rebounds, Wolffis scored 11 points and Josh Hornstra had nine points and seven rebounds.
"They're warriors," De Boer said of Roetcisoender and Hornstra. "They love playing the game of basketball. They just battled. Zach did a really nice job offensively, and Josh did such a good job. He's undersized, but his heart isn't undersized. He played a great ball game and really battled."
De Boer said LC, which played a 2-3 zone all four quarters, placed an emphasis on shutting down Brewster's perimeter game, but the outside focus allowed 6-foot-6 forward Josh Hammons to score a team-high 16 points and haul in nine rebounds. Driessen added 14 points.
Lynden Christian (5-2, 1-0 NWC) led early and took a 25-23 lead into halftime after holding Brewster to 4 of 23 first-half shooting. LC led 9-3 and 17-12 after a Hornstra bucket, but the Bears were able to close the gap despite Roetcisoender scoring 10 of his 16 points in the second quarter.
Brewster pulled the score even twice during the third quarter, both at 29 with 5:14 left and again at 37 with 0:12 left. Both teams battled back and forth during the final eight minutes, and six straight points by Hornstra gave LC a 45-43 lead with 2:36 remaining before Brewster outscored the Lyncs 8-4 in the final minutes.
"I think the big deal is that we feel if we learn to take care of some of the little things we didn't tonight, we can play with anybody," De Boer said. "That is one of the top programs in the state."
Reach Andrew Lang at email@example.com or call 360-756-2862. Follow @bhamsports for Whatcom County sports updates.
BREWSTER 51, LYNDEN CHRISTIAN 49
Brewster 12 11 14 14 - 51
Lynden Chr. 11 14 12 12 - 49
Brewster: Easton Driessen 14, Edjar Najera 9, Josh Hammons 16, Mitch Boesel 0, Luke Davis 2, Cade Smith 1, Hunter Bach 0, Timbo Taylor 9, Cameron Jacobson 0. Team totals: 13-45 19-24 51.
Lynden Christian: Josiah Meppelink 4, Jake Van Berkum 2, Dalton Lootens 0, Jake Poag 0, Zach Roetcisoender 16, Grant Wolffis 11, Josh Hornstra 9, Koy Sterk 0, Cody Fransen 6, Logan Carlson 1. Team totals: 18-52 10-16 49.
3-ptg: Brewster 4 (Taylor 2), Lynden Christian 3 (Three with 1). Rebounds: Brewster 29 (Smith 11), Lynden Christian 34 (Roetcisoender 10). Assists: Brewster 5 (Driessen 3), Lynden Christian 6 (Meppelink 2). Fouls: Brewster 15, Lynden Christian 18. Turnovers: Brewster 8, Lynden Christian 8.
Reach ANDREW LANG at firstname.lastname@example.org or call ext. 862.