In the wake of one of the most memorable athletic efforts in Lummi history, coach Jerome Toby nailed it when he talked of what his boys’ basketball team needed most.
“We have to stay humble and hungry,” he said.
Indeed, Toby is convinced that “humble and hungry” will have to be Lummi’s mantra following the fourth-ranked Blackhawks’ 75-49 win over top-rated Neah Bay in a match-up of unbeaten Class 1B state title hopefuls on Monday, Jan. 12.
Believe it or not, the non-conference regular-season showdown — which drew a large, enthusiastic crowd — was a lot more competitive than the score indicates.
In fact, Lummi (10-0) led what had been a tight, physical battle by only 44-42 three minutes into the second half when the Blackhawks’ exploded.
Lummi — which has suffered so many football and basketball heartbreaks against Neah Bay during the seniors’ careers — outscored the talented, quick Red Devils 31-7 the rest of the way.
“It’s been on my mind all season,” Austin Brockie acknowledged about the meaning of the game for the five senior regulars, who had never beaten Neah Bay (5-1) in basketball. It’s no wonder — the Red Devils placed in the top three at state each of the preceding three years.
Lummi’s poised man-to-man defense delighted Toby in the second half, committing only four fouls while limiting Neah Bay to 5 for 33 shooting agony in the final 16 minutes.
Brockie, meanwhile, erupted for 18 of his 25 points in the second half, including four 3-pointers for the team’s only 3s of the night.
“All things considered, that’s probably the best game our team has ever played and the best game of my life,” said Brockie, who demonstrated his potential with 40 points including 11 3-pointers last month against Tulalip.
Lummi, however, did not have a 3-pointer until Brockie hit his first late in the third quarter, part of an 18-2 Blackhawk run. The splurge began at the point Lummi led 44-42.
“Coach told me we had to hit some 3-point shots,” said Brockie, who took only four shots in the first half, with only one attempt from 3-point range. “Coach told me I had to find a rhythm.”
Point guard Dean Williams heard that.
“We just said we had to get Austin some shots,” said Williams. With Williams taking charge, the Blackhawks did just that, giving Brockie the chance to finish with five baskets in his last six field-goal attempts, including all four 3-pointers.
Sophomore Trazil Lane — the only non-senior in the six-man rotation Toby used — turned in a vital effort. The potential-laden 6-foot-2 forward finished with 14 points, 12 rebounds and three steals.
Jacob Roberts contributed 14 points via 6 for 10 shooting, along with eight rebounds and two steals. Williams had 10 points and five assists, while forward Willie Jones had seven of his eight rebounds in the second-half blitz along with seven points, all in the second half.
Kavarez Lane, the only reserve Toby used, helped keep Lummi in the game with five first-half points as the Red Devils claimed a 36-33 halftime edge.
The Red Devils, who committed 16 of their 24 fouls in the first half, saw Lummi make 29 of 44 free throws — not bad, considering the pressure of the situation.
The clinching plays at the end of Lummi’s 18-2 run thrilled Toby with an ideal example of the Blackhawks’ teamwork. Brockie scored on a drive, followed by a short jumper by Lane off a rebound, a 3-pointer by Brockie and a layup by Roberts off a nifty pass by Brockie.
“That’s as well as I’ve ever seen us play,” said Toby, who had not beaten Neah Bay since 2011 and is in his 10th season as head coach. “Everybody’s buying into their roles and being supportive of one another. We’re growing as a team. And we’re balanced — anyone can (and has) come up with a big night. But the kids understand there’s still lots of room for improvement.”
“Oh, yeah, there’s lots of bits and pieces where we need to improve,” said the team leader, who vowed he would not let the Blackhawks become over-confident.
Toby said the game showed Lummi has made the progress that he expected such an experienced team to display at midseason.
“I like where we’re at,” Toby said. “Hey, we’ve got some gym rats on this team.”
Considering how much football all these guys have played, they’ve definitely had to put in winter overtime in the gym.
Their work showed against one of the teams the Blackhawks may need to beat to earn a state trophy.
Lummi 75, Neah Bay 49
Neah Bay: Ryan Moss 17, Abe Venske 10, Kenrick Doherty 7, Jongi Claplanhoo 4, John Reamer 4, Jericho McGimpsey 4, Rweha Munyagi 1, Ole Nederhoff 2, Cameron Buzzell 0, Biship Tejano 0. Totals: 17-66 12-17 49.
Lummi: Austin Brockie 25, Dean Williams 10, Jacob Roberts 14, Trazil Lane 14, Willie Jones 7, Kavarez Lane 5. Totals: 21-53 29-44 75.
3-point field goals: Neah Bay 3 (Moss 2); Lummi 4 (Brockie 4). Rebounds: Neah Bay 30 (Venske 8); Lummi 48 (Lane 12). Assists: Neah Bay 6 (Reamer 3); Lummi 10 (Williams, Brockie 3). Total fouls: Neah Bay 24, Lummi 13.
On Thu, Jan 8, 2015 at 10:50 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
|Name:||0113 Lummi BBB|
|Requested by:||Rasbach, David|
|Assignment start:||01-12-2015 05:30 PM|
|Assignment end:||01-12-2015 07:30 PM|
|Instructions:||Coverage of Lummi-Neah Bay boys' basketball|
|Deadline:||01-12-2015 09:00 PM|
|Event time:||01-12-2015 05:30 PM|
|Event location:||Lummi Nation School|
|Name:||0113 Lummi BBB|
|Summary:||Coverage of Neah Bay-Lummi boys' basketball|