In Lynden Christian’s sixth game against a higher-division girls basketball team, the defending Class 1A state champion Lyncs played like, well, a state champion.
Coach Brady Bomber, of course, wouldn’t put it quite like that in the wake of LC’s impressive 72-56 win over 2A state contender White River in the final round of the Cloud 9 Sports Christmas Classic on Wednesday, Dec. 28.
But the third-year coach chose words just as accurate as his Lyncs (7-1) proved to be against the Hornets (9-1).
“This was probably our most complete game of the season,” said Bomber, who saw his players perform with remarkable teamwork, especially considering only one girl is a senior.
Six-foot sophomore forward Isabela Hernandez capped one of her finest efforts with 10 of her 25 points in the fourth quarter, including two 3-point daggers.
Hernandez finished 9 for 17 from the field, including five 3-pointers, and went 4 for 4 in the fourth quarter. She also had eight rebounds and four assists.
Hernandez’s front-line running mate, 6-1 junior post Sam Van Loo, went 3 for 3 in the final period. The third-year standout finished 8 for 12 for 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
Bailey’s big threes
Senior guard Emmalee Bailey, a team leader, made two 3s to open the third quarter after a 7-0 run pulled White River within 34-25 at halftime, right after a 17-2 run by the Lyncs, who broke out from a 17-16 lead. The Hornets never came closer than 11 again.
“Isabela just did a great job of dishing the ball,” Bailey said, explaining how Hernandez found her open twice from the corner. “I’m so proud of the hard work our underclassmen have done. They have really stepped up big.”
Bird works for 29
White River’s 6-2 forward Kendall Bird, a potential-filled combination of moves and muscle, scored 29 points, with 11 in the last quarter. Bird, who will play on a Division I scholarship for the University of San Diego, shot 12 for 19 and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds.
“But we really made her work for her points,” Bomber said, obviously proud of how the multi-talented Bird did not intimidate the Lyncs.
Lyncs fill roles
Grace Sterk, a 5-11 junior forward, shot 4 for 5 in the second half in a reserve role and finished with 10 points, keeping the Lyncs safely ahead. Torina Hommes, a 5-10 sophomore, grabbed 10 rebounds and contributed stubborn defense, while third-year guard Avery Dykstra had seven points and five assists while disrupting the Hornets’ floor game.
Three other reserves, sophomore Josie Bocci and freshmen Riley Dykstra and Shyann Brandsma, provided quality minutes while demonstrating the depth Bomber is developing. Riley Dykstra had four assists and three steals.