Even though a Noah King 3-pointer gave Lynden a three-point lead with 32 seconds to play, Lynden coach Brian Roper never felt safe until the final buzzer sounded.
There’s a good reason for that.
Twice this year No. 1-ranked Lynden Christian has pulled off miraculous fourth-quarter comebacks to preserve its perfect record, but not this night. In a classic rivalry matchup, the No. 4-ranked Lions got the better of the Lyncs with a 71-68 Northwest Conference win Thursday, Jan. 21, in front of a packed house at Lynden Christian High School.
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“We were fortunate we got the last lead, because there must have been 10 lead changes in that game,” Roper said. “Two evenly-matched teams, great atmosphere.”
Sterling Somers scored a game-high 26 points for the Lions (14-1, 6-1 NWC), and King, recently returning from a broken wrist, put together a clutch performance with 15 points coming all off 3-pointers.
Lynden Christian’s Jake Poag scored a team-high 22 points, and Zach Roetcisoender added 21 for the Lyncs (15-1, 7-1 NWC).
The game was tight the entire way, but LC pulled ahead 49-42 midway through the third quarter. Somers responded scoring seven straight points, guiding Lynden on a 17-6 scoring run.
Poag gave Lynden Christian a 68-66 edge with 1:30 to play after getting a steal and converting a layup and a free throw, but Somers tied it up with a bucket with 59 seconds to play, setting up King’s go-ahead 3.
“It’s big for us, especially in league,” Somers said. “I’m just so proud of my teammates. We worked hard all week and really came out and performed well. Still tons to work on, but great win for us and we’re really pumped about it.”
Most valuable player
Sterling Somers always seemed to answer offensively when Lynden needed it most. No more was this evident than during the third-quarter when Somers scored 11 of his game-high 26 points.
The game was over when ...
Noah King hit nothing but net with a 3-pointer from the left elbow extended with 32 seconds left that put Lynden in front 71-68. Lynden Christian couldn’t score on the other end.
Unsung hero of the game
Lynden big man Davis Bode hasn’t offered the Lions a whole lot of offensive production this season, but he was critical in the second half, scoring seven third-quarter points and giving Lynden a nice spark.
Lynden 71, Lynden Christian 68
Lynden: Noah King 15, Clayton Whitman 4, Sterling Somers 26, Connor Shine 0, Andrew Kivlighn 0, Jordan Wittenberg 9, Christian Zamora 6, Davis Bode 9, James Marsh 2.
Lynden Christian: Josiah Meppelink 10, Lucas Roetcisoender 0, Tanner Bouma 6, Jake Poag 22, Zach Roetcisoender 21, Nate Hielkema 9, Grant Rubbert 0, George De Jong 0.
3-point field goals — Lynden: 10 (King 5); Lynden Christian: 12 (Poag 5). Rebounds — Lynden: 26 (Somers 10); Lynden Christian: 25 (Hielkema 9). Assists — Lynden: 8 (Somers 3); Lynden Christian: 5 (Meppelink 2). Fouls — Lynden: 13; Lynden Christian: 13. Turnovers — Lynden: 5; Lynden Christian: 8.