Lynden Christian got the type of game it wanted, just not the result.
The No. 1-ranked Lyncs three days prior to their showdown with No. 5 King’s scored 77 points during a district tournament win against Mount Baker.
LC coach Brady Bomber said a low-scoring game against a Knights team with an explosive offense and stingy defense was what the Lyncs were hoping for. But this low?
“We wanted it to be at this pace,” Bomber said. “As good as they are defensively, they are that good offensively. We wanted the game in the 30s or 40s. We thought that would give us a chance to win. It comes down to the last couple of possessions, and the ball just doesn’t go your way.”
Lynden Christian forward Kara Bajema scored a game-high 18 points, but her efforts weren’t enough, as the Lyncs went cold down the stretch and suffered a 38-33 Class 1A District Tournament title game loss to King’s on Saturday, Feb. 14, at Mount Vernon High School.
The Lyncs now wait a week to play again. They’ll face the winner between Mount Baker and Overlake in a Class 1A Bi-District Tournament winner-to-state, loser-out game at 3:45 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21, at Mountlake Terrace High School.
Saturday’s district title game was a rematch of last year’s 1A state championship, which the Lyncs won 55-40. The distrcit loss snapped an 11-game win streak for LC (18-4).
Outside of Bajema, no other LC player scored more than five points. Sara Dougan scored all her five in the second half, and Makayla Lancaster recorded four.
Even with the offensive struggles, the Lyncs’ defense kept the team in the game.
Lynden Christian’s Sam Van Loo gave the Lyncs their first lead with 2:50 left in the third, scoring on a layup off a nice pass from along the perimeter.
LC again pulled ahead, 31-30, with 4:00 to play in the game after Bajema connected on a 15-foot jumper along the baseline, but that score was the Lyncs’ final field goal of the night.
On the ensuing possession following Bajema’s go-ahead 2, King’s Daylee Hanson connected on a long range 3, putting the Knights back in front until Bajema tied the game at 33 following a pair of clutch free throws with 2:01 to play.
King’s led 35-33 with less than 30 seconds to play, but a Dougan mid-range jumper rimmed out, allowing the Knights to seal the game with a free throw.
“We battled,” Bomber said. “We gave ourselves a chance until the end. They make a basket, we don’t, just little things like that add up in a game like this. ... Obviously, we would have liked to win, but they competed at a very high level, so we are proud of that.”
King’s 38, Lynden Christian 33
King’s: Ashley Osborn 9, Maddie Nielsen 6, Kendall Adams 8, Daylee Hanson 6, Anna Parker 0, Abbi Echelbarger 0, Savanna Hanson 8.
Lynden Christian: Makayla Lancaster 4, Shaye Brandsma 3, Kara Bajema 18, Sam Van Loo 2, Riley Van Hulzen 1, Avery Dykstra 0, Sara Dougan 5, Emmalee Bailey 1.