High School Basketball

Lions stay unbeaten in NWC

Lynden's Natalie Amos shoots and scores against Mount Baker on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at Mount Baker High School in Deming. The Lions won 50-36.
Lynden's Natalie Amos shoots and scores against Mount Baker on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at Mount Baker High School in Deming. The Lions won 50-36. eabell@bhamherald.com

Whatever the opposite is of “softer, kinder and gentler,” as Lynden coach Rob Adams described his early season coaching style, is how the Lions have performed during an 11-game winning streak.

The 11th win was a defensively impressive 50-36 Northwest Conference conquest of Mount Baker on Tuesday, Jan. 19, in a match-up of the state’s fourth-ranked girls’ basketball teams in their classes.

It was the 13th game in which the 2A Lions (13-1 overall, 6-0 NWC) held their opponent to no more than 46 points.

“During the summer and in the first two games, my coaching style was softer, kinder and gentler,” said Adams with a grin. “After we lost (a 45-25 non-league game to Anacortes), the girls asked me to stop the film. They said they were appreciative, but they held a team meeting and asked me to become my old self.”

No one has ever said Adams isn’t demanding, and it showed during the Lions’ 11-0 run over the final four minutes after the 1A Mountaineers (10-4, 3-3) pulled within 39-36 with a 10-0 streak.

Lynden sophomore Sierra Smith began the run with a drive, followed by a nifty reverse layup by junior Mariah Gonzalez and a drive by junior Elisa Kooiman, who had a game highs of 15 points and 10 rebounds.


The Lions don’t have anyone other than Kooiman in the league’s top 25 scorers, but with the balance and depth Adams is developing, they’re certainly not kinder or gentler to opponents. Sophomore Natalie Amos scored nine points, with seven in the second quarter, and inspirational senior Emily Holt had a pair of 3s for six points along with Gonzalez, Smith and Neria.


… Jasmyne Neria went 2 for 2 from the line at the 51-second and 37-second marks in the final minute. In the first half, Neria grabbed six rebounds as one of the nine Lions who contributed points and/or rebounds in the opening quarter alone on the way to a 30-15 halftime advantage.


Danielle Tyler, a whirlwind 5-foot-3 guard, hit a pair of 3s in the first quarter, including a pretty shot off the glass. She and Powell played as though Baker’s opponents are going to have a handful with their speed in the next three years, not to mention perhaps the rest of this season.

Lynden 50, Mount Baker 36







Mount Baker






Lynden: Elise Kooiman 15, Mariah Gonzalez 6, Sierra Smith 6, Emily Holt 6, Jasmyne Neria 6, Natalie Amos 9, Lauren Zwiers 0, Olivia Bonsen 2, Heidi Lankhaar 0. Totals: 19-55 9-17 50.

Mount Baker: Emily Brandland 10, Danielle Tyler 9, Kylee Engholm 3, McKenzie Yost 2, Sam Jacoby 0, Haylee Malone 2, Kylind Powell 10, Summer Millman 0, Jordan LaTorre 0. Totals: 15-50 1-4 36.

3-point field goals — Lynden 3 (Holt 2); Mount Baker 5 (Tyler, Brandland 2). Rebounds: Lynden 35 (Kooiman 10); Mount Baker 27 (Brandland 7). Assists: Lynden 8 (Kooiman 3); Mount Baker 6 (Tyler 3). Fouls: Lynden 8, Mount Baker 19.