High School Basketball

PREP BOYS’ BASKETBALL PREVIEW: Lynden Lions

Coach: Brian Roper

Last year: Finished tied for second in the Northwest Conference with a 9-3 record. ... Placed second at the Class 2A State Tournament and finished 22-4 overall.

Players to watch: Scooter Hastings (sr., P); Sterling Somers (jr., G); Jordan Wittenberg (jr., G); Davis Bode (so., P); Jonathan Whetnall (sr., G); Clark Hazlett (sr., F)

Outlook: Another strong football season, means more scrambling to get up to speed for Roper’s Lions, but that’s never seemed to bother them before. Lynden, which took Pullman to overtime in last year’s state title game, graduated two starters in Jaremy Martin and Jalani Phelps, but the Lions return arguably two of the top talents in the Northwest Conference in first-team all-NWC selection 6-foot-7 post Hastings (13.9 points per game) and second-team pick Somers (14.5). Both should draw plenty of attention , but Roper believes he has other weapons around the duo. “I think we have a lot of new parts, and we are still finding our identity,” Roper said in a phone interview. “This team, I think, is a better shooting team than we’ve had in a couple years, and we have two guys you really have to game plan for.” Not having Trey Shagren, who tore his ACL playing football, will be tough, but Wittenberg and Whetnall will fill the void. Bode and Andrew Kivlighn are two up-and-coming sophomores, and look for Squalicum transfer Hazlett play some quality minutes.

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