High School Basketball

Lynden must battle past Liberty in 2A boys’ regional to reach Yakima

Lynden’s Sterling Somers puts up a shot against Meridian in January 2014.
Lynden’s Sterling Somers puts up a shot against Meridian in January 2014. For The Bellingham Herald

Lynden vs. Liberty

4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, at Renton High School

Lynden Lions (22-2)

Enrollment: 592.0

League: Northwest Conference (tied for first)

District: Northwest (second)

State appearances: 47 (107-58)

State titles: 8 (1961, 1962, 1968, 1981, 1991, 1992, 2007, 2012)

Coach: Brian Roper

Leading scorers

Player

Pos.

Yr.

Ht.

PPG

Sterling Somers

F

Sr.

6-5

18.8

Noah King

G

Sr.

5-11

10.7

Andrew Kivlighn

G

Jr.

6-3

8.5

Jordan Wittenberg

G

Sr.

6-0

8.0

Christian Zamora

F

Fr.

6-4

8.0

Scouting the Lions: After a loss to Shorecrest in the district semifinals, Lynden had to rebound for a 64-45 win over Archbishop Murphy to grab the district’s final ticket to state. The Lions lived by the 3 in the third-place game, nailing 12 from deep.

Key to the game: Rebound. Poor shooting and rebounding cost the Lions in their loss to Shorecrest.

Player to watch: SPU recruit Somers came up big in the district final, matching a season-high 16 rebounds and scoring the game’s first 10 points. He’s scored double figures in 13 straight.

Liberty Patriots (13-11)

Enrollment: 891.8

League: KingCo 2A/3A (four)

District: West Central/SeaKing (second)

State appearances: None

State titles: None

Coach: Omar Parker

Leading scorers

Player

Pos.

Yr.

Ht.

PPG

Noble Cooper

G

Sr.

6-5

*19.9

Connor Chapman

G

Jr.

6-5

*11.9

Stephen Hei

G

So.

6-1

*6.5

Mikey Walter

F

Jr.

6-4

*6.0

Jack Elfstrom

G

Fr.

6-2

*5.1

*Full season stats not available

Scouting the Patriots: Don’t let the average record fool you — Liberty plays in a league full of bigger schools. The Patriots beat top-ranked River Ridge to advance to the district title game, before losing a thriller to North Kitsap 76-68 in double overtime.

Key to the game: Handling the pressure. This will be the program’s first trip to state and the Patriots need to keep their nerves about them.

Player to watch: Cooper has been the Patriots’ leader all season. He scored 27 points in the district title game loss to North Kitsap.

0227 Lynden BBB online

Herald prediction

The No. 2 Lions know they can’t afford another game like they had against Shorecrest from here on out.

LYNDEN 67-59

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