Mariah Perry led Nooksack Valley’s girls’ basketball team with 16 points and seven assists as the Pioneers beat Mount Baker 53-49 in the Class 1A Northwest District Tournament third-place game on Saturday, Feb. 14, at Mount Vernon High School.
The Pioneers’ Payton Linville finished with 13 points, Arlissa Oettel and Brianna Turner had nine points apiece. The Mountaineers’ Emily Yost led the game with 20 points and Emily Brandland added 16 of her own.
In the last two minutes of the game, Linville hit a 3-pointer to put the Pioneers up two. On Mount Baker’s next possession, Perry was able to get a steal and hit two free throws after the Mountaineers were forced to foul.
“Our overall team effort to slow down Yost and Brandland was huge. It’s our fourth game this week and the kids are playing through a lot of fatigue. It was a classic Northwest Conference battle,” Wichers said.
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Nooksack Valley started hot and jumped out to a 14-7 lead over Mount Baker after the first quarter.
“I thought we just moved the ball well and shot the ball well in the first quarter. We got out to a nice lead,” Nooksack Valley coach Shane Wichers said in a phone interview.
The Mountaineers’ bounced back with a nice quarter of their own. Outscoring the Pioneers 17-12 and went into the locker room facing a two-point deficit.
“Baker showed character and fought back,” Wichers said, “once they got back into the game in the second quarter it was a two to four point game the rest of the way.”
Nooksack Valley will be the No. 3 seed into the 1A Bi-District Tournament and will host the District 2 No. 4 seed in a first-round game at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 18, for the right to move on and play University Prep in a winner-to-state game on Saturday, Feb. 21. Mount Baker will be the No. 4 seed ino the 1A Bi-District Tournament and will travel to Overlake for a first-round game at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 18, for the right to move on and play the Lynden Christian-King’s loser in a winner-to-state game on Saturday, Feb. 21.
“That’s huge. To host a game and not have to travel is a great deal to the kids. They worked hard for it,” Wichers said.
Nooksack Valley 53, Mount Baker 49
Mount Baker: Emily Brandland 16, Brittany Call 4, Summer Millman 0, Kylee Engholm 6, McKenzie Yost 3, Samantha Jacoby 0, Emily Yost 20, Emmy Cline 0. Totals: 16-50 11-12 49.
Nooksack Valley: Arlissa Oettel 9, Payton Linville 13, Mariah Perry 16, Emelia Gimmaka 2, Olivia Berkan 2, Katrina Gimmaka 2, Brianna Turner 9, Lacey Johnson 0. Totals: 18-55 9-15 53.
3-point field goals — Mount Baker: 6 (Two with 2); Nooksack Valley: 8 (Two with 2). Rebounds — Mount Baker: 32 (n/a); Nooksack Valley: 19 (Oettel 4). Assists — Mount Baker: no information provided; Nooksack Valley: 15 (Perry 7). Fouls — Mount Baker: 17; Nooksack Valley: 19. Turnovers — Mount Baker: 10; Nooksack Valley: 6.