Lynden’s girls fell short of their third consecutive Class 2A Northwest District title, but not before a hearty comeback they may build on to play better in the state regional game.
With both teams assured the regional round, Anacortes (16-7), up by 19 points late in the third quarter, saw the Lions (20-3) slice their deficit to six points. But the Seahawks steadied themselves with two late baskets and claimed a 51-41 win on Friday, Feb. 19, for the district championship.
“I was proud of that,” Lynden coach Rob Adams said of the rally under severe defensive pressure.
The Lions had not managed more than seven field-goal attempts in any of the first three quarters, during which hard-driving Mariah Gonzalez scored 10 for the Lions. But Lynden had shot only 5 for 20 and trailed 40-21 at the point Emily Holt made the team’s first 3-pointer on their seventh shot of the third quarter with 31 seconds left.
That started a 15-2 run, cutting Anacortes’ lead to 42-36. But the Lions would come no closer even though they held Anacortes without a basket for more than six minutes beginning late in the third period.
Sierra Smith opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer, followed by a free throw by Natalie Amos. Elisa Kooiman, who finished with a game-high 17 points including 10 in the fourth quarter, made three free throws, followed by a 3-pointer and a basket on a drive.
Junior point guard Maddy Hance, who scored on a jumper with 2:58 left to end Lynden’s scoring streak at 12-0, passed to Brooke Geffe for a fine baseline drive with 1:10 left. Nicole McInerney became Anacortes’ tenth scorer with a free throw and Hance made four free throws in a 16-second span of the final minute, moving the Seahawks ahead 50-39 with 37 seconds left.
IT WAS OVER WHEN …
… Hance hit both ends of a 1-and-1 with 49 seconds remaining for a 48-37 advantage.
PRAISE FOR LYNDEN
“They’re a great team,” longtime Anacortes coach Ken Welk said of Lynden, which split two games with the Seahawks in the regular season, including the Lions’ 54-41 league win Jan. 5. “They tried to do so many things and they didn’t give up.”
Welk used 11 players in both halves. He received 14 points from the bench including a pair of big baskets from 6-foot-1 freshman post Melissa Frein in the second quarter and two hoops from 5-11 post Baylee South in the third period.
WHAT IT MEANS
The Lions and Seahawks, like every regional qualifier in the state in all six classes, will have to win their regional games Feb. 26 or 27 to advance to the Elite Eight. They will learn time, date and opponent this weekend.
Anacortes 51, Lynden 41
Anacortes: Brooke Geffe 14, Maddy Hance 11, Gabby Ronngren 7, Alexandra Aldridge 5, Clare Martin 0, Nicole McInerney 1, Baylee South 4, Sally Vaux 2, Taylor Mathis 1, Olivia White 2, Melissa Frein 4. Totals: 51.
Lynden: Elisa Kooiman 17, Mariah Gonzalez 10, Natalie Amos 6, Jasmyne Neria 0, Lauren Zwiers 0, Sierra Smith 5, Emily Holt 3. Totals: 41.