The No.1-ranked Lyncs picked a great time to play what coach Brady Bomber billed their best defensive game of the year.
Lynden Christian raced out to a early lead and never trailed, as LC knocked off defending Class 1A state champs and No. 3-ranked King’s 53-46 during the 1A District Tournament title game Saturday, Feb. 13, at Mount Vernon High School.
The win earned LC an automatic regional state tournament berth and sets the Lyncs up with a 1A Bi-District Tournament title game matchup against Seattle Academy at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19, at Mountlake Terrace High School.
“I thought we defended really well early on,” Bomber said. “That got us some easy looks on offense, and we were able to get stops and offensive rebounds.”
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Kara Bajema paced Lynden Christian’s balanced scoring attack with 16 points, Haley Hollander had 15, Sam Van Loo chipped in 10 and Avery Dykstra had eight points, four assists and three steals.
But it was Hollander who got the Lyncs’ offense going early, scoring seven of the team’s first 13 points. LC opened the game on a 9-2 run and held at least a five-point advantage until late in the fourth quarter when King’s made a rally.
LC led 49-39 with 4:15 to play, but a 7-0 King’s run forced the Lyncs to play poised through adversity.
“We told the girls before the game, ‘We’re going to have to stick together through some storms and weather them,’” Bomber said. “‘If we can do that, we have a chance.’”
Bajema made an off-balance 8-footer to extend the Lyncs’ lead to 51-46 with 1:40 to go, and strong defense the rest of the way earned LC the win.
Game ball goes to
Bajema led LC in scoring, but Hollander gave the Lyncs big-time minutes. Besides scoring seven points in the first quarter, she helped get Lynden Christian off to a strong start in the second half, scoring six in the third. She also matched a team high with five rebounds and had a pair of assists and steals.
Lynden Christian was extremely efficient on the offensive end, and that was largely due to LC’s ability to find the open player. Dykstra and Shaye Brandsma each had four assists, and as a team the Lyncs had 12.
Lynden Christian 53, King’s 46
King’s: Maddie Nielsen 2, Kendall Adams 4, Hannah Echelbarger 5, Daylee Hanson 12, Anna Parker 18, Abbi Echelbarger 0, Audrey Friedline 5, Callie Wright 0.
Lynden Christian: Isabela Hernandez 0, Haley Hollander 15, Shaye Brandsma 0, Kara Bajema 16, Sam Van Loo 10, Riley Van Hulzen 4, Avery Dykstra 8, Emmalee Bailey 0.