Zach Roetcisoender’s 24 points led Lynden Christian’s boys’ basketball team, but it wasn’t enough as the Lyncs fell to King’s 74-63 in the Class 1A Northwest District championship game on Saturday, Feb. 14, at Mount Vernon High School.
Cody Fransen finished with 18 points and Jake Poag added 16 of his own. Blake Mellema led the team with 10 rebounds.
“Zach is still coming back from illness and is finally getting his rhythm. I felt Meppelink, who came in with four assists and one turnover with (King’s) trapping defense, did a fantastic job after coming back from injury,” DeBoer said.
The Knights outscored Lynden Christian 23-19 in the opening quarter, but it was a 13-2 run late in the second quarter that put the 1A district title out of reach for the Lyncs.
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“It really came down to the fact that we went through a dry spell and missed some shots,” Lynden Christian coach Roger DeBoer said in a phone interview. “They came down and capitalized. Their 3-2 zone was tough and we missed opportunities.”
After falling victim to a crucial 13-2 run, the Lyncs went into the locker room at halftime to refocus their strategy for the second half.
“We talked about staying the course. We lost sight of their shooters during the run and we didn’t do some of the little things we did in the first quarter and a half,” DeBoer said.
Lynden Christian came out in the third quarter and showed its resiliency, staying right with King’s in a 13-13 third quarter. The Lyncs then won the fourth quarter, outscoring the Knights 18-17 in the closing quarter.
“We executed and showed great heart. I couldn’t be more proud to be in the locker room than I was at the end of this game. The heart shown by our seniors in general was just fantastic tonight,” DeBoer said. “We fought right with a team who is a heavy favorite to win the state tournament.”
The Lyncs will play the Mount Baker-University Prep winner at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 21 at Mountlake Terrace in a winner-to-state game.
“We’re going to have to do a better job rebounding in the next game. It comes down to the little things. Luckily we have five days to continue to improve,” DeBoer said.
King’s 74, Lynden Christian 63
Lynden Christian: Blake Mellema 0, Josiah Meppelink 0, Lucas Roetcisoender 0, Jake Van Berkum 2, Tanner Bouma 0, Jake Poag 16, Zach Roetcisoender 24, Nate Hielkema 0, Grant Rubbert 3, Cody Fransen 18, Koy Sterk 0. Totals: 21-57 11-15 63.
King’s: Andrew Ayers 6, Koa Wilkins 3, Josh Frohardt 0, Brett Jones 8, Noah Bundrant 15, David Barhanovich 9, Corey Kispert 18, Josh Alexander 11, Calvin Kispert 4. Totals: 26-53 12-18 74.
3-point field goals — Lynden Christian: 10 (Poag 5); King’s: 10 (Corey Kispert 4). Rebounds — Lynden Christian: 28 (Mellema 10); King’s: 34 (Corey Kispert 9). Assists — Lynden Christian: 14 (Meppelink 4); King’s: 16 (Corey Kispert 4). Fouls — Lynden Christian: 20; King’s: 12. Turnovers — Lynden Christian: 10; King’s: 13.