Lynden coach Brian Roper agreed that Andrew Kivlighn displayed what timely senior basketball leadership could and should be.
Kivlighn took only two shots from the field and had one point before the fourth quarter. Then he made four shots, capped by a vital 3-pointer, in the Class 2A Lions’ 57-54 nonleague win over 4A Yakima West Valley (7-2) on Wednesday.
“I just wasn’t getting the shots I wanted,” said Kivlighn, Lynden’s only starting senior on a team with six talented sophomores. “But I decided to be more aggressive (in the fourth quarter).
“I recognize our sophomores are good and they need to get the ball, too.”
The 6-foot-1 third-year starting guard’s 3-pointer gave the Lions (3-2) a 55-54 lead with 1:09 to play.
Lynden’s sophomores all scored and combined for 38 points, led by 13 by Clayton Whitman and 12 by Christian Zamora, with eight in the fourth quarter. The others – James Marsh, Kobe Elsner, Blake Silves and Carson Bode – also enjoyed big moments.
“Andrew called his number one time because he pointed out he had an advantage,” said Roper. “He’s a quiet kid but he does a nice job of a leadership role with a young team. All other 11 guys want him to lead.”
LaBounty’s big role
“Trey LaBounty (a 6-8 junior center) gave us a big lift off the bench and (senior reserve) Connor Shine gave us a big spark defensively,” Roper said.
LaBounty’s hook shot put the Lions up 42-41 in the fourth quarter – their first lead since the game’s initial basket. LaBounty followed with a layup off a pass from Zamora, setting the stage for three consecutive baskets on drives, including one on a nifty pass from Silves.
Zamora’s key steals
Lynden trailed by as many as 10 points and was down 41-36 to open the fourth quarter, but Zamora made consecutive steals for layups to pull the Lions within 41-40.
“That changed the complexion of the game and got everyone in the gym excited,” Roper said. “The energy level had been low at that point.”
Zamora’s two free throws with 4.5 seconds to play were the game’s final points.
West Valley, coached by former Sehome star Jon Kinloch, finished with 11 3-pointers by six players, led by four from junior Dallin Cluff, who had a game-high 18 points. Justin VanDeBrake, one of four starting seniors, scored 14.
Lions shoot well
The Lions shot 9 for 14 from the field while outscoring the Rams 21-13 in the final quarter. Roper’s teams, known for gritty defense, limited West Valley to 19-of-42 shooting as Lynden dominated inside. Had the Rams not shot 3s so well, Lynden’s defense would have seemed even more impressive.
Whitman finished 5 for 10, including a dunk set up by his steal. LaBounty made all three of his shots.
West Valley 14 13 14 13 -- 54
Lynden 7 15 14 21 -- 57
West Valley: Dallin Cluff 18, Justin VanDeBrake 14, David Lindgren 9, Jacob Sabari 2, Sean Sieber 0, Isaac McDonald 3, Spencer Bailey 5, Spencer Jolley 3, Eric Rodriguez 0. Totals: 19-42 5-5 54.
Lynden: Andrew Kivlighn 10, Clayton Whitman 13, Christian Zamora 12, James Marsh 2, Kobe Elsner 3, Trey LaBounty 7, Blake Silves 5, Connor Shine 2, Carson Bode 3, Jared House 0. Totals: 22-45 8-12 57.
3-point goals: West Valley 11 (Cluff 4); Lynden 5 (five with one each). Rebounds: West Valley 21 (VanDeBrake 6); Lynden 23 (LaBounty 6). Assists: West Valley 5 (Cluff, Lindgren 2); Lynden 9 (Zamora, Whitman 3). Total fouls: West Valley 12, Lynden 9.