The Lynden Christian boys basketball team tries to punch its ticket to the Class 1A state quarterfinals when it faces Warden in a non-elimination regional.
Time: Noon Saturday
Site: Mount Vernon High School
What’s at stake: The winner moves on to the Class 1A state quarterfinals at 9 p.m. Thursday at the Yakima Valley SunDome. The loser will face the winner of the regional between Vashon Island and King’s Way Christian in an elimination game at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the SunDome.
Scouting the Cougars
Coach: Wes Richins
State tournament appearances (record): Two (0-2)
State titles: None
RPI ranking: No. 12
League: South Central (second, 11-3)
Road to the regional: Beat Connell 70-54 in a winner-to-state game of the South Central Athletic Conference Tournament.
Though Warden doesn’t have the state tournament pedigree of LC, the Cougars have made the Sweet 16 the past two years, though they have yet to advance out of the regional round. This team has captured the heart of a wrestling town with a sort of “Luv Ya Blue” enthusiasm after guaranteeing the program its first trip to Yakima. The Cougars are known for their run-’n-gun mentality and for letting it fly from beyond the arc. Senior J.R. Delgad set the school 3-point shooting record earlier this year with 82 treys and is averaging 24.3 points per game.
Scouting the Lyncs
Coach: Roger DeBoer
State tournament appearances (record): 29 (75-40)
State titles: Five (’76, ’82, ’99, 2006, ’12)
RPI ranking: No. 2
League: Northwest Conference (tied for fourth, 9-4)
Road to the regional: Won the Class 1A Northwest District Tournament title and then beat Northwest 54-44 in the District 1/2 Tournament championship game.
The Lyncs return to the state tournament for the third straight year after falling to Zillah in the regional round last year and advancing to the state title game in 2015. LC’s reloaded roster has come together nicely this year under DeBoer. Cole Bajema is leading the way with 18.5 points per game, while Grant Rubbert is averaging 12.8. Cristian Colwell is chipping in 9.5 and Andrew DeVries 9.3, while George DeJong (6.9) and Jordan Riddle (4.8) also make solid contributions.