The No. 1-ranked, senior-laden Lyncs offer many qualities that make them a true state championship contender. Size isn’t one of them.
So when LC faced No. 7 Mount Baker and 6-foot-10 Timothy Soares, 6-5 TJ Bass and 6-9 Ethan Gates, the Lyncs executed a perfect game plan to neutralize the Mountaineers’ length advantage.
Lynden Christian applied intense ball pressure throughout, creating 21 turnovers and made some history on senior night with a 72-49 Northwest Conference win over Baker on Friday, Feb. 5, in Lynden.
The win clinched the Lyncs a share of the league title — a first for any NWC 1A school, Lynden Christian coach Roger DeBoer said.
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The Lyncs (19-1, 11-1 NWC) also finished the regular season with the fewest league losses of any NWC 1A school. The previous best mark had been three defeats.
“They are a part of history now,” DeBoer said. “So it’s a pretty special deal for these kids.”
Tanner Bouma scored a team-high 15 points on five 3s, Josiah Meppelink added 14 points, Jake Poag scored 13 and Zach Roetcisoender chipped in 12 in what was a trademark display of the team-oriented basketball the Lyncs have implemented all year.
Mount Baker’s Timothy Soares had a game-high 20 points, 10 of which came in the first quarter, to go with 14 rebounds.
The Mountaineers trailed only 22-18 with five minutes left in the second quarter, but the Lyncs went on a 13-4 run to close the half and Baker could do nothing to trim the lead during the second half.
Game ball goes to
Lynden Christian’s win was such a team effort, but starting point guard Josiah Meppelink would be a worthy pick. Besides scoring 14, he spearheaded the Lyncs’ defensive pressure and played a large role in helping LC generate 21 turnovers.
Play of the night
Baker’s Timothy Soares has to be the most athletically gifted player in the Northwest Conference, and he flaunted that late in the first half when he received a pass right under the basket and threw down a powerful two-hand dunk.
LC’s Grant Rubbert came off the bench and gave the Lyncs some real quality minutes. The Lyncs are so deep, and there just isn’t much drop off after the starting five. Rubbert scored six points, had a team-high four assists, three steals a couple boards.
Lynden Christian 72, Mount Baker 49
Mount Baker: Keenan Gray 5, Jed Schleimer 0, Mason Bass 2, Sam Stargell 1, Carson Engholm 2, Cory Bergh 0, Thomas Barbo 7, TJ Bass 7, Timothy Soares 20, Ethan Gates 4.
Lynden Christian: Cole Bajema 0, Josiah Meppelink 14, Lucas Roetcisoender 4, Andrew Vander Mey 0, Tanner Bouma 15, Jake Poag 13, Zach Roetcisoender 12, Nate Hielkema 8, Grant Rubbert 6, George De Jong 0.