The Lummi boys’ basketball team extended its undefeated season farther into the postseason with an emphatic victory over Mount Rainier Lutheran in the first round of the Class 1B Tri-District Tournament.
The win was almost equally as emphatic as the Blackhawks’ first-quarter alley-oop. Austin Brockie was headed to the hoop on a breakaway after a steal, but a Mount Rainier Lutheran defender caught up with him in the paint. Brockie stopped and lobbed a ball up for the following Trazil Lane, who slammed home the pass with ease.
That dunk got the Lummi Nation crowd as excited as it would be all night, as the Blackhawks erased any doubt that they would win early on in a 64-32 win over the Hawks on Tuesday, Feb. 17, at Lummi Nation School.
Trazil Lane’s offensive prowess was on display in the victory, as he was a force in scoring and on the glass. The 6-foot-2 sophomore standout finished with 23 points on 10-of-20 shooting, and 10 rebounds.
“I think we share the ball and any given night it’s anybody’s turn (to score) and tonight Trazil did a good job and found his rhythm and also got a lot of offensive boards,” Lummi coach Jerome Toby said. “He attacked the offensive boards and converted those into buckets for us.”
Defensively the Blackhawks clamped down, allowing just single-digit points to Mount Rainier Lutheran in the second, third and fourth quarters. Having seen the Hawks earlier this season in a 61-45 win, Lummi had a good idea as to what to expect.
“We were fortunate to get a look at Mount Rainier before this game,” Toby said. “We played them early on in the season, so we got to go off some gameplan and film from that.”
Though the teams shared some familiarity, Toby made only small tweaks to the gameplan, adhering to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” motto.
“We knew coming in that (Mitchell) Pelissier was their guy, so we tried to slow him down,” Toby said. “We thought we were able to contain him, and I thought our boys did a good job defensively moving their feet and calling out the switches on him. I was proud of the way they came out and played defense and beat a very good Mount Rainier Lutheran team.”
Leading the defensive stand was senior guard/forward Kavarez Lane. The 5-foot-10 Lane was the embodiment of pesky on defense, hounding his man and forcing errant passes all night.
“Kavarez sets the tone on the defensive end for us,” Toby said. “He gets out and gets into them. He sets the tone, puts some ball pressure on them and is our leader on defense.”
The impact Kavarez Lane showed carried over into the rest of the team’s play.
“Kavarez is pace setter, he gives 100 percent every time, that’s the thing I like,” Trazil Lane said.
Early on, Kavarez was the trend-setter for the offense, too. His nine first-quarter points led the team after the first frame and made the Hawks defense account for another scoring threat.
Some of the erratic passes the Lummi defense, led by Kavarez Lane, forced carried over to Lummi’s side of the ball. Twice in both the second and third quarters when Lummi put added pressure on Mount Rainier Lutheran defensively, the Hawks came back with a flurry of pressure of their own.
That led Toby to need to calm his team down a bit a couple of times.
“Sometimes when it gets erratic, out of control, you start getting that ‘helter skelter,’” Toby said. “I encourage them to push it, but as long as its in rhythm and transition, that’s one of our strengths, but when we get out of control and we look ‘helter skelter’ I like to slow it down so we can run our sets.”
Those set plays were the bread and butter of Lummi’s offense. But they weren’t designed plays for any one Blackhawk to score – almost every player got a turn.
Austin Brockie hit a team-high three 3-pointers for nine points, Kavarez Lane turned his first-quarter total into 15 by the final buzzer, and Dean Williams added six points. Jacob Roberts and Jason James added another five each and Willie Jones had one.
Lummi moves on to face Seattle Lutheran after it defeated Providence Classical Christian 65-52 Monday night. That second-round game will be played at 8:15 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19, at Mount Vernon Christian.
Lummi 64, Mount Rainier Lutheran 32
|Mount Rainier Lutheran|
Mount Rainier Lutheran: Jason Palinsky 0, Ryan Wolf 0, Mitchell Pelissier 12, Erik Kozakowski 0, Ron Stephens 2, Theo Tel 11, Davide Castellano 4, Cruz Stidham 0, Dawson Faker 3, Jacob Perdue 0. Totals: 11-39 5-9 32.
Lummi: Dean Williams 6, Jacob Roberts 5, Jason James 5, Willie Jones 1, Austin Brockie 9, Jeff Cultee 0, Trazil Lane 23, Kavarez Lane 15, Adam Lawrence 0, Alex Jefferson 0. Totals: 27-55 6-15 64.
3-pt made: Mount Rainier Lutheran 3 (Tel 3); Lummi 4 (Brockie 3). Rebounds: Mount Rainier Lutheran 17 (Pelissier 5); Lummi 33 (T. Lane 10). Assists: Mount Rainier Lutheran 3 (Tel 2); Lummi 8 (Brockie 3). Fouls: Mount Rainier Lutheran 10; Lummi 13.