High School Basketball

Rough second half burns Lions in state title game

Lynden players and head coach Rob Adams wear grim faces as time winds down during the 2A girls’ state championship game against Shorecrest on Saturday, March 5, at the Yakima Valley SunDome. Lynden lost 49-43 and finished second overall.
Lynden players and head coach Rob Adams wear grim faces as time winds down during the 2A girls’ state championship game against Shorecrest on Saturday, March 5, at the Yakima Valley SunDome. Lynden lost 49-43 and finished second overall. eabell@bhamherald.com

Lynden coach Rob Adams saw his assistant coaches after turning around a corner into the corridor that led to the Lions’ locker room and exclaimed “we picked the wrong night to play a bad game.”

That’s what made Lynden’s Class 2A State Tournament championship defeat to Shorecrest so hard to bear.

The Lions weren’t surprised by anything the Highlanders threw at them. Lynden knew Shorecrest’s personnel, and the district opponent ran the zone defense the Lions anticipated they would.

But for whatever reason, Adams said, his team didn’t play well, shoot well or defend well.

“This one will probably stay with us a little longer because it wasn’t anything they did to us,” Adams said. “It was what we did to ourselves. As competitors, that stings a little bit.”

Lynden overcame a sluggish second quarter and held a halftime lead, but Shorecrest hit clutch shots down the stretch while the Lions couldn’t make those same winning plays and took a 49-43 loss Saturday, March 5, at the Yakima Valley SunDome.

Elisa Kooiman scored a game-high 18 points with 12 rebounds and committed six turnovers, Mariah Gonzalez gave the Lions critical minutes, scoring nine first-half points before leaving during the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury and Sierra Smith and Jasmyne Neria each had five points.

Lynden (23-4) earned its eighth state trophy and was playing in its first state title game since winning a championship in 2009.

And another title seemed more than obtainable early on against Shorecrest.

The Lions led 10-9 before going on a 9-3 scoring run that put Lynden in front 19-12 with 5:50 to play in the second. Gonzalez scored nine of those points, providing offense at a time when Lynden needed a player to step up.

But after Gonzalez made a free throw at the 5:50 mark, Lynden’s offense suddenly went stagnant against Shorecrest’s 2-3 Zone defense. The Lions’ only field goal of the quarter came on a Smith 3 with 18 seconds left until halftime.

Still Lynden led 22-17 at the break.

“We played D in the first half, but really didn’t play defense in that third quarter,” Kooiman said. “And that is what really got us down. And it sucks.”

The Lions’ offensive woes carried over into the third, and the shots the Highlanders missed during the first half turned into field goals during the second.

Shorecrest wrestled back the lead, 26-25, with an Ari Rantz basket with 3:30 to play in the third. From there, Shorecrest ended the period on an 8-4 run, outscoring Lynden 17-7 during the frame. All seven points came from Kooiman.

“We knew coming into this we would have to shoot good because of their 2-3 Zone, and we only shot 30 percent from the field,” Adams said. “As we missed shots, we stopped moving and we became ball watchers.”

Shorecrest quickly pushed its lead to double digits in the fourth quarter, and Lynden never recovered.

Highlander guard Jazlyn Owens hit two crippling 3s, one to open the quarter and one to give Shorecrest a 42-31 lead with 4:40 to play.

Neria connected on a 3-pointer to trim Shorecrest’s lead to 42-34 with 2:20 to go, but the points came too late. Lynden’s hole had been dug too deep.

“They were playing with confidence, and they had the momentum,” Kooiman said. “Every time we had a play that could have been a good play, it would bounce off our hands our of bounds. We just didn’t make winning plays, like Coach Adams probably said.”

2015-16 Lynden

scoring averages

Player

Pos.

Yr.

G

Avg.

Elisa Kooiman

G

Jr.

27

18.0

Jasmyne Neria

G

Jr.

26

7.9

Sierra Smith

G

So.

26

7.1

Mariah Gonzalez

F

Jr.

26

5.2

Lauren Zwiers

G

Jr.

26

4.6

Natalie Amos

G

So.

27

4.5

Emily Holt

F

Sr.

26

2.8

Kyla Bonsen

F

Fr.

13

1.5

Olivia Bonsen

F

Sr.

24

1.3

Ali VanZanten

F

Fr.

12

1.0

Heidi Lankhaar

G

Jr.

21

0.9

Morgan Black

G

Sr.

16

0.8

Lynden girls’ basketball state trophies

Year

Class

Place

2016

2A

Second

2015

2A

Sixth

2014

2A

Fourth

2012

2A

Fifth

2011

2A

Seventh

2009

2A

First

2007

2A

Eighth

1991

1A

Second

SOURCE: WIAA.com

Lynden girls’ basketball state

title games

Year

Class

Opponent

Result

2016

2A

Shorecrest

L 49-43

2009

2A

Archbishop Murphy

W 48-41

1991

1A

Lynden Christian

L 66-51

SOURCE: WIAA.com

2A girls’ basketball state title games

Year

Winner

Loser

Score

2016

Shorecrest

Lynden

49-43

2015

Mark Morris

W.F. West

69-53

2014

W.F. West

Mark Morris

48-37

2013

Mark Morris

W.F. West

56-44

2012

Clarkston

Yakima East Valley

53-41

2011

Prosser

Burlington-Edison

50-33

2010

River Ridge

Prosser

57-46

2009

Lynden

Archbishop Murphy

48-41

2008

River Ridge

Ellensburg

43-42

2007

River Ridge

Tumwater

40-25

2006

King’s

Lynden Christian

49-27

2005

King’s

Chewelah

59-55

2004

Chelan

Pullman

30-29

2003

Yakima East Valley

Pullman

44-31

2002

Yakima East Valley

Chelan

53-40

2001

Lakesdie

Ephrata

63-61

2000

Ephrata

Meridian

63-56

1999

Newport

Black Hills

59-50

1998

Lakeside

Connell

53-36

SOURCE: WIAA.com

Lynden state titles

Year

Class

Sport

2014

2A

Football

2013

2A

Football

2021

2A

Football

2012

2A

Boys’ basketball

2011

2A

Football

2011

2A

Boys’ soccer

2009

2A

Football

2009

2A

Boys’ golf

2009

2A

Girls’ basketball

2008

2A

Football

2008

2A

Girls’ tennis

2007

2A

Boys’ basketball

2006

2A

Football

2001

3A

Boys’ golf

1997

1A

Football

1992

1A

Boys’ basketball

1991

1A

Football

1991

1A

Boys’ basketball

1990

1A

Softball

1981

1A

Boys’ basketball

1980

1A

Football

1968

1A

Boys’ basketball

1962

1A

Boys’ basketball

1961

1A

Boys’ basketball

SOURCE: WIAA.com

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