Lynden defense comes through again (w/game video)

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMarch 6, 2014 

YAKIMA - Lynden has each game this postseason proved its ability to turn strong offenses into mediocre units. Hockinson became the latest to falter against the Lions' constricting play.

Lynden's offense wasn't flashy. Guard Sterling Somers admitted his team could have executed better, but again the Lions' defense made the plays it needed to notch another victory and advance deeper into the postseason.

"That's something we pride ourselves in is defense," Somers said. "We try to wear the other team down, and I think that really helped us today to get the win."

Lynden led nearly the entire game but only once pushed its lead to double-digits. It wasn't until forward Scooter Hastings threw down a powerful two-handed fourth-quarter dunk that the Lions could breathe a bit easier.

Somers, Hastings and Jalani Phelps accounted for 81 percent of Lynden's points, and the Lions put together a 50-43 grind-it-out Class 2A State Tournament quarterfinal win against Hockinson on Thursday evening, March 6, at Yakima's SunDome.

The win advances Lynden to the 2A state semifinals where it'll meet Lake Washington at 9 p.m. Friday, March 7, at the SunDome. The Lions (21-3) beat the Kangaroos (15-10) 57-53 during the Class 2A District 1/2 title game two weeks ago.

"They played really hard," said Somers of Hockinson. "We didn't play to our execution standard, but I think we played hard enough and got the hustle points to come out with it."

Somers scored a game-high 22 points and recorded all of Lynden's eight second-quarter points in what was a sloppy first half by both the Lions and Hawks. Hastings added 12 points and a team-high eight boards, and Phelps gave the Lions a nice second-half boost with all of his nine points in the final two quarters.

Hockinson entered the quarterfinals averaging 62.8 points per game, and the Hawks' 43 points marked the fourth time the Lions have held its postseason opponents to 43 or less.

Archbishop Murphy scored 36 and Anacortes scored 43 during districts, and Sumner had 35 during last weekend's regional game.

The Lions committed 10 first-half turnovers and led just 21-17 at half, but Lynden's defense made up for the lack of offensive production.

Lynden held the Hawks to 19 percent (4 of 21) shooting through the first two quarters, and two of those shots were desperation, off-balance 3s by Hockinson's Taylor Rennaker to beat both the first- and second-quarter buzzers.

Hastings and Somers combined to provide the offense Lynden needed in the third quarter to maintain a points buffer over the Hawks, but Hockinson didn't let Lynden build more than a seven-point edge.

When Somers scored a bucket to give the Lions a 32-27 lead with 57 seconds to go in the third quarter, he had scored 18 of Lynden's points.

"It's nice," said Somers of helping the team get a win," but any one of our other guys could have made those shots, too."

Most likely, only Hastings could have made the momentum-shifting basket he scored with 5:01 to play in the fourth quarter, though. The 6-foot-7 junior got some open space in the key and threw down a dunk that erupted the Lions' sideline and gave Lynden a 41-33 lead. It also finally but some added space between the Lions and pesky Hockinson.

"Scooter's dunk was a big momentum booster for us," Somers said, "and it really gave us a spark to win the game."

The Hawks cut their deficit to 43-38 and 46-40 with 51 seconds to play, but Lynden converted its free throws down the stretch.

Lynden shot 45 percent from the field, while the Lions held Hockinson to 27.8 percent. Besides Hastings, Somers and Phelps, only Jordan Wittenberg (three points), Jaremy Martin (two points) and Parker Harrison (two points) scored.

Reach Andrew Lang at andrew.lang@bellinghamherald.com or call 360-756-2862. Follow @bhamsports on Twitter for Whatcom County sports updates.

LYNDEN 50, HOCKINSON 43 Hockinson 11 6 12 14 — 43 Lynden 13 8 13 16 — 50

FG FT Reb Hockinson M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS Taylor Rennaker 4-13 0-0 3-4 0 5 10 Nate Gunderson 1-6 0-0 2-5 1 2 2 Jack Klodt 6-15 5-6 4-8 0 2 17 Alan Haagen 2-5 2-2 1-2 2 0 7 Taylor Ellensohn 0-4 0-0 1-3 1 2 0 Jess Krahn 0-2 0-0 0-3 0 4 0 Jared Broer 0-3 0-0 1-2 0 0 0 Casey Turner 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Brian Prigmore 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Austin Steimle 1-1 1-2 1-1 0 0 3 Littleton Davidson 1-2 2-4 2-3 0 0 4 Totals 15-54 10-14 20-37 4 18 43

Percentages: FG 27.8, FT 71.4. 3-Point FG: 3-16, 18.8 (Rennaker 2-5, Haagen 1-2, Klodt 0-5, Ellensohn 0-2, Turner 0-1, Prigmore 0-1). Blocked Shots: 2 (Krahn 1, Davidson 1). Steals: 7 (Haagen 4, Rennaker 2, Steimle 1). Turnovers: 14 (Rennaker 3, Klodt 2, Haagen 2, Krahn 2, Davidson 2, Broer 1, Prigmore 1).

FG FT Reb Lynden M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS Jordan Wittenberg 1-5 1-3 0-1 1 0 3 Parker Harrison 1-3 0-0 2-3 0 0 2 Sterling Somers 6-15 9-12 1-4 2 1 22 Trey Shagren 0-0 0-0 5-5 2 3 0 Jaremy Martin 1-4 0-1 4-6 1 3 2 Scott Hastings 5-8 2-4 2-8 2 5 12 Jalani Phelps 4-5 0-0 1-2 0 3 9 Caden Lair 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Totals 18-40 12-20 10-32 8 15 50

Percentages: FG 45.0, FT 60.0. 3-Point FG: 2-14, 14.3 (Somers 1-7, Phelps 1-1, Wittenberg 0-4, Martin 0-1, Hastings 0-1). Blocked Shots: 5 (Hastings 2, Somers 2, Harrison 1). Steals: 7 (Somers 3, Shagren 2, Hastings 1, Phelps 1). Turnovers: 14 (Martin 4, Hastings 3, Phelps 3, Wittenberg 2, Somers 1, Shagren 1)

Class 2A State Tournament semifinal

9 p.m. Friday, March 7, at SunDome

Lynden vs. Lake Washington

Looking ahead: Lake Washington (15-10) held off a late charge by Clarkston to pull out a 52-48 win during its Class 2A State Tournament quarterfinal. The Kangaroos led by as many as 21 points (40-19), but the Bantams rallied late. Guard Drew Heimdahl scored a team-high 17 points, Jeffrey Staudacher had 14 and Kelly Guy added 12. Lake Washington owned a 37-25 rebounding edge and dished out 14 assists. The Lions beat Lake Washington 57-53 during the Class 2A District 1/2 championship game two weeks ago.

Beyond the Box: Lynden held Hockinson to 4-of-21 (19 percent) shooting during the first half, which included two desperation 3s - one at the end of the first quarter and one right before the half.


WATCH VIDEO

Reach ANDREW LANG at andrew.lang@bellinghamherald.com or call ext. 862.

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