Ferndale’s girls’ basketball team knows what it takes to win.
That was Blaine coach Ryan Pike’s sentiment after his Borderites fell 54-44 to the Golden Eagles on Tuesday, Jan. 27.
The Golden Eagles’ second-leading scorer Abby Reid went 1 for 5 in the game, top scorer Linsey Honeycutt only took three shots in the second and third quarters and the Borderites’ Mandy Hayes was money from 3-point range in the first half.
Still, the Golden Eagles pulled away with a 10-point win.
“They’re a great team. They’re going to push you up and down the court the entire time,” Pike said. “They have a lot of seniors and they know how to win basketball games and that’s what happened there late in the fourth.”
The Golden Eagles have six seniors, all of which have been playing together since fifth grade. Ferndale coach Mike Ivy has seen that familiarity pay off numerous times over the course of this season and he saw it play out again Tuesday night.
Senior Carly Bannerman, who averages around six points per game on the year, nailed two third-quarter 3s on her way to 15 points and five rebounds.
“There’s five people on the court and you can’t rely on one person,” Bannerman said. “You have to be prepared to step up.”
Bannerman also had the tough task of defending Hayes when Ferndale switched to man-to-man defense. The Golden Eagles were forced out of zone defense when a trio of plays in the first half yielded three long-range makes from Hayes, who scored 15 points.
In the second half, with Bannerman on her, Hayes went 2 for 7, scoring only four points.
“Carly’s defense on Hayes and Carly’s shots and everything was huge tonight,” Ivy said.
Despite the success of Ferndale’s seniors Tuesday night, it was sophomore Gabrielle Edison that drew the attention of Ivy. Edison had to guard Taylor V’Dovec, who recently returned from a broken toe.
“I thought Gabby Edison did a really good job on V’Dovec,” Ivy said. “V’Dovec is not 100 percent but she didn’t allow her to penetrate and made her shoot jump shots.”
The Borderites had a scare in the first two minutes of the game when V’Dovec went down with an injury.
Ryan Pike stepped onto the court to see if V’Dovec was alright and jokingly said to his senior, “Just tell me it’s your ankle.”
The bench breathed a deep sigh of relief when it did turn out to be just her ankle and not her toe, Pike said.
“It was scary not just for the season but for her future. I want her to heal up properly and get fully healed,” Pike said. “She’s just a smart basketball player. She’s one of those players that can beat you outside, she can beat you inside.”
V’Dovec returned minutes later to score 14 points and tally a team-high nine rebounds.
The other No. 34, Honeycutt, got the best of V’Dovec in both categories, however. Honeycutt scored 15 points and hauled in 15 rebounds, including nine in the first quarter.
“I’ve been coaching for quite awhile. I’ve never seen anybody that can offensive rebound like her,” Ivy said. “She is just a phenomenal offensive rebounder. She’s going to go all out and get it. That’s big.”
The Golden Eagles outrebounded Blaine 36-30 and Pike pointed out that Ferndale and rebounding go hand-in-hand.
“I’ve been here three years and they’ve been a good rebounding team for all three years. Partly it is because of Linsey,” Pike said. “We’re still searching for that person that’s going to want the ball when it’s in the air. That’s what Linsey does. It’s pure determination.”
Blaine falls to 6-3 in the Northwest Conference, as it sits in the third 2A spot. The Borderites face Lynden Christian on Friday, Jan. 30, at home.
Ferndale moves to 8-1 in conference and faces three must-win games, as the Golden Eagles hope to grab the NWC title. First up is Lynden on Friday, followed by Lynden Christian and Burlington-Edison.
“We know the only way we can raise the banner out there is to win the next three in a row,” Ivy said. “We got some big games ahead of us but we’ve been preparing for this for quite awhile. ... I think our girls are ready. We’re up to the challenge.”
Ferndale 54, Blaine 44
Blaine: Breanna Chau 7, Makayah Veliz 0, Josie Deming 0, Mikayla Deming 3, Kiana Gray 4, Kjirstin Larson 0, Barb Pocus 1, Taylor V’Dovec 14, Mandy Hayes 15. Totals: 14-49 11-16 44.
Ferndale: Carly Bannerman 15, Shelby Slaughter 0, Abby Reid 6, Darrien Camarillo 5, Savanna Shawler 3, Dasia Washington 2, Kendyl Puhan 4, Gabrielle Edison 5, Linsey Honeycutt 15. Totals: 20-51 11-21 54.
3-point field goals — Blaine: 4 (Hayes 3); Ferndale: 3 (Bannerman 2). Rebounds — Blaine: 30 (V’Dovec 9); Ferndale: 36 (Honeycutt 15). Assists — Blaine: 8 (Chau 4); Ferndale: 13 (Reid 4). Fouls — Blaine: 17 (Fouled out: Hayes); Ferndale: 18 (Fouled out: Edison). Turnovers — Blaine: 14; Ferndale: 15.