King's ends Blaine's title hopes (w/game video)

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMarch 7, 2014 

YAKIMA - It was the matchup Blaine envisioned, but the outcome was far from what it hoped.

The Borderites fell to King's 50-37 in the Class 1A state semifinals on Friday, March 7, at the Yakima Valley SunDome, putting them in the third-/fifth-place game against Cashmere at 1 p.m. Saturday.

The Knights advanced to play Lynden Christian in the 1A championships at 9 p.m. Saturday.

It was the second time in three weeks that Blaine had fallen to King's, only this time the sting of losing one game shy of a state championship berth reverberated throughout the entire team.

"Obviously, I think we're good enough to play for the championship," Blaine coach Ryan Pike said. "We thought we had a good chance of getting there, but the stars didn't align for us tonight."

The start of the contest didn't, either, with the Knights jumping out to a 13-2 lead with less than a minute to go in the first quarter.

Mikayla Deming hit a contested layup - two of her four points in the game - to bridge the gap to 13-4 heading into the second. The stagnant start on offense for the Borderites continued into the second as they found themselves looking up at a 19-6 deficit after back-to-back layups by King's with 5:46 left in the quarter.

Blaine's second-leading scorer, Mandy Hayes, went down midway through the first with an ankle injury, and her absence, Pike said, was missed as Blaine struggled to find any rhythm.

"I think we got a little tired," Pike said. "Mandy got hurt, so that took a big blow. Olivia (Olason) got two fouls and she had to come out."

Taylor V'Dovec, who led the Borderites with 17 points and had 10 rebounds, sparked a 9-0 Blaine run to end the second after hitting a mid-range jumper in the lane. Breanna Chau followed that up with a 3-pointer and a steal that led to a fastbreak layup, and a floater by Deming to end it saw Blaine trail only 19-15 going into the half.

"Breanna attacked the hole in the second, and that's what kept us in was Chau just attacking the hole, attacking the hole, attacking the hole," Pike said.

V'Dovec opened the second half by hitting a pull-up jumper and 3-pointer in consecutive possessions to shrink King's lead to 21-20. The 5-foot-11 junior was doing all of it while being double-teamed due to the absence of Hayes on the outside.

"They face-guarded her all night," Pike said. "She's just an unbelievable player, and without Mandy and Olivia in the game to take a little pressure off her, it's tough. She's the best player in the tournament. There's no one better than her, and she played like it today. She had someone in her face the whole time."

The Knights, despite seeing their lead shrink to just one, put together a 12-4 run to end the third quarter with a 33-25 lead. Blaine was never able to bring it closer than five in the fourth quarter as King's finished the game out from the free-throw line.

"We talked about taking one possession at a time. Let's get a stop on defense and let's get a stop on defense and go score," Pike said. "We could just never get over the hump of five points."

Chau finished the game with 10 points and two assists. Senior post Alexis McElwain, while scoring just two points, finished with a game-high 13 rebounds, five of which came on the offensive end.

Hayes, who was hobbled by the bad leg, finished with two points.

Reach Alex Bigelow at alex.bigelow@bellinghamherald.com or call 360-715-2238. Follow @bhamsports on Twitter for other Whatcom County sports updates.

The Cashmere Bulldogs suffered their first loss of the season to Lynden Christian 31-26 in the Class 1A state semifinals. Cashmere shot just 9 of 46 from the field in the loss despite holding the Lyncs to 12-of-33 shooting. Breanna Knishka, who is one of the Bulldogs' leading scorers, finished the game 1-of-14 shooting from beyond the 3-point line. She did lead the team with nine points, though, and Mikayla Sites and Lauren Johnson added five each. Cashmere was outrebound by Lynden Christian 35-28.

Beyond the box: Mandy Hayes, the Borderites' second leading scorer at just about 13 points per game, suffered an ankle injury in the first quarter. She missed the rest of the half, but returned to play in the third and fourth quarters. She finished the game with two points on the hobbled ankle.

Quotable: "The good thing is we took care of business (Thursday), and we still get to take a trophy home. We got one more game together, and we're going to try to make it a memorable one." - Ryan Pike

KING'S 50, BLAINE 37

King's 13 6 14 17 - 50

Blaine 4 11 10 12 - 37

FG FT Reb

KING'S M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS

Maddie Nielsen 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Marilyn Jones 0-0 1-2 0-1 0 2 1

Julia Berenson 4-8 6-6 1-2 0 3 15

Casey Kispert 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Alysanne Van Dyke 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 2

Daylee Hanson 2-9 6-10 0-2 2 3 11

Anna Parker 2/5 0-1 0-3 1 0 4

Hannah Echelbarger 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0

Savanna Hanson 3-10 2-6 3-9 3 3 9

Audrey Friedline 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 1

Karly Hibbard 3-6 2-2 2-7 0 1 8

Team 3-12

Totals 15-39 17-27 9-37 6 13 50

Percentages: FG .38.5, FT .630. 3-Point FG: 3-14 .214 (Berenson 1-4, D. Hanson 1-6, S. Hanson 1-3, Hibbard 0-1). Blocked Shots: 5 (Parker 1, S. Hanson 2, Hibbard 1, Team 1). Steals: 6 (Jones 1, Berenson 3, D. Hanson 1, S. Hanson 1). Turnovers: 12 (Jones 2, D. Hanson 3, Parker 1, Echelbarger 1, S. Hanson 2, Hibbard 2, Team 1).

FG FT Reb

BLAINE M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS

Breanna Chau 4-12 1-3 1-2 2 1 10

Olivia Olason 0-5 2-4 0-0 0 5 2

Alexis McElwain 0-9 2-2 5-13 2 3 2

Mikayla Deming 2-5 0-0 0-2 0 4 2

Kjirstin Larson 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Mandy Hayes 1-8 0-4 0-1 0 4 2

Rhiana Breedlove 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 2 0

Taylor V'Dovec 7-19 2-2 4-10 0 1 17

Team 9-10 1

Totals 14-58 7-11 19-39 4 21 37

Percentages: FG .241, FT .636. 3-Point FG: 2-18, .111 (Chau 1-6, Olason 0-4, Hayes 0-4, V'Dovec 1-4). Blocked Shots: 2 (Hayes 1, V'Dovec 1). Steals: 8 (Chau 3, Deming 3, Breedlove 1, V'Dovec 1). Turnovers: 9 (Chau 1, Olason 3, McElwain 2, Deming 1, Larson 1, V'Dovec 1).


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