In the wake of being thrilled by his undefeated team’s best two wins, both against higher-classification state trophy contenders, Lynden Christian coach Brady Bomber summed it up nicely.
“Our girls are humble enough to know we can’t just show up and win, but confident enough to play with anybody,” he said.
The Class 1A Lyncs (9-0) backed up his contention as Kara Bajema scored 29 points, with 21 in the second half, in a polished 68-62 win over Class 3A Glacier Peak (9-2) in the last round of LC’s Cloud 9 Sports Christmas Classic on Wednesday, Dec. 30. The memorable win came one night after a meaningful 57-49 win over 2A power White River.
Once again, all eight players in the rotation contributed meaningful minutes as the Lyncs shot 26 for 45. Bajema and Hollander received major support from sophomores Avery Dykstra (3 for 4 from the field, 4 for 4 from the line for 10 points) and Sam Van Loo (seven points via 3 for 4 shooting, six rebounds and three assists).
One night after shooting only 4 for 14 though playing well in every other aspect, Bajema shot 12 for 17 with four 3-pointers, all in the second half, for the second-highest point total of her four-year career.
“Kara really knows how to shake it (tough shooting) off. She’s a stud,” said fellow senior standout Haley Hollander, Bajema’s cousin. Hollander shot 4 for 8 from the field and 5 for 5 from the line for 13 points, giving her 34 in the two wins.
THE BIG RUN
With the Lyncs trailing 56-53 almost midway through the final quarter, Hollander converted a 3-point play, which began with a fine assist from Van Loo, to tie the game at 56. LC then finished a 10-0 run on Bajema’s assist to Hollander on a drive, Dykstra’s pass to Bajema for a hoop and Bajema’s NBA-length 3-pointer.
Dykstra soon passed again to Bajema for a 65-58 lead and Dykstra clinched the win with two free throws with 15 seconds left for 67-62.
Riley Van Hulzen, Emmalee Bailey, Shea Brandsma and Isabela Hernandez kept their turnovers at a minimum and their poise at a maximum when they all refused to panic despite falling behind 13-5 in the first quarter. This was against a quick, powerful team with a 6-foot-1 center, Kayla Watkins, who scored 21 points with at least two baskets in each quarter.
“Whatever it takes, that’s what we always tell each other,” Bomber said of his entire rotation.
The Lyncs will visit Class 4A Snohomish (Glacier Peak’s rival) on Saturday, Jan. 2, to finish non-league games, then will take a 2-0 record into the final 10 Northwest Conference contests.
Lynden Christian 68, Glacier Peak 62
Lynden Christian: Kara Bajema 29, Haley Hollander 13, Avery Dykstra 10, Sam Van Loo 7, Shaye Brandsma 5, Riley Van Hulzen 2, Isabela Hernandez 2, Emmalee Bailey 0. Totals: 26-45 11-15 68.
Glacier Peak: Kayla Watkins 21, Paisley Johnson 9, Samantha Fatkin 14, Natalie Rasmussen 14. Nichole Jensen 4, Abbie Juozapaitas 0, Charlie Sevenants 0, Maya Mcfadden 0. Totals: 22-50 12-14 62.
3-point field goals — LC 5 (Bajema 4); GP 6 (Rasmussen 4). Rebounds — LC 24 Bajema 7); GP 15 (Watkins 6). Assists — LC 15 (Bajema 5); GP 9 (Fatkin 3). Fouls — LC 15; GP 12. Turnovers — Not available