LYNDEN - The defending Class 1A state champion Brewster Bears were as sharp as Division I-bound Chandler Smith's jump shot and the Bears showed the Lynden Christian girls' basketball team it still has plenty of work to do before March's Hardwood Classic.
In a rematch of the 1A State Tournament quarterfinals, which Brewster won narrowly last winter, the Bears quickly ended LC's hope for a bit of redemption.
Brewster opened the game up in the second quarter and rolled to a 68-39 non-league win on the efforts of Smith and Monica Landdeck during day one of the Cloud 9 Sports Christmas Classic on Friday, Dec. 27, at Lynden Christian.
Smith, who is ranked No. 62 on ESPN's 2014 recruiting class list and has signed to play at Nebraska, scored a game-high 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while Landdeck chipped in 20 points of her own.
"We really struggled, especially in the first half," LC coach Curt De Haan said. "We shot 16 percent, and I think we made 11 turnovers. When you play that quality of an opponent, you see what the results are. I thought we did a much better job in the second half, but we had a tough time with both Smith and Landdeck."
The loss was Lynden Christian's first of the year, but Kara Bajema's play provided a major bright spot in the defeat. The sophomore forward stepped up in the absence of star senior Courtney Hollander, who was nursing a knee injury and missed the game.
Bajema scored a team-high 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds. She also made four steals.
"Kara has been playing real solid for us all year," De Haan said. "We put Kara on (Smith) and she was able to stop her a little bit with her height."
Brewster, which entered the game undefeated, beating teams by an average of 43.5 points, only led by six after the first quarter, but LC shot only 2 of 13 from the field in the second and watched the Bears extend their lead to 34-13 at the break.
The Lyncs (5-1, 1-0 NWC) did bounce back after halftime, however, matching the Bears' 16 third-quarter points. Guard Sally Vlas scored four of her nine points in the period, and 6-foot-3 forward Sara Dougan played well late, scoring eight of her 10 points in the fourth quarter.
"I didn't think we competed in the first half," De Haan said. "The second half we did a much better job. At least it's midseason. We got a lot of stuff to work on, but this is a team we wanted to play to see how we measure up, and we aren't there yet."
Lynden Christian was only outscored 34-26 in the final two quarters after trialing by 21 at halftime.
Reach Andrew Lang at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-756-2862. Follow @bhamsports for Whatcom County sports updates.
BREWSTER 68, LYNDEN CHRISTIAN 39
Brewster 14 20 16 18 - 68
Lynden Chr. 8 5 16 10 - 39
Brewster: Brette Boesel 8, Vanessa Terrones 4, Monica Landdeck 20, Chandler Smith 30, Markie Miller 6, Maggie Brammer 0. Team totals: 25-53 10-14 68.
Lynden Christian: Makayla Lancaster 4, Haley Hollander 0, Kara Bajema 11, Sally Vlas 9, Kassidy Aldrich 2, Karley De Jager 3,Sara Dougan 10, Morgan Van Kooten 0. Team totals: 17-59 3-8 39.
3-ptg: Brewster 8 (Smith 4), Lynden Christian 2 (Bajema/Vlas 1). Rebounds: Brewster 31 (Smith 10), Lynden Christian 29 (Bajema 9). Assists: Brewster 7 (Smith 5), Lynden Christian 4 (Four with 1). Fouls: Brewster 9, Lynden Christian 13. Turnovers: Brewster 12, Lynden Christian 16.
Reach ANDREW LANG at email@example.com or call ext. 862.