Lynden Christian’s lengthy scorers Kara Bajema, Sam Van Loo and Haley Hollander usually draw the most attention from opponents.
They’re strong defenders, athletic marvels ranging in heights from 5-foot-10 to 6-2. But there’s no doubt point guard Avery Dykstra has been the steadying force of the Lyncs’ offense, especially during this postseason run, which concluded Saturday, March 5, with the Lyncs winning the Class 1A state title with a 48-38 win over King’s. She’s a pretty strong defender, too.
In fact, for just a sophomore, it’s impressive how polished of a player Dykstra already is.
“She has worked her tail off in the gym this summer,” LC coach Brady Bomber said. “She’s worked on her shot, ball handling. She’s in the weight room getting stronger. She’s invested, and that’s the reason she has had the success she has had this year.”
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Dykstra can break pressure with her ball handling, score, play defense and does a great job getting her teammates involved, Bomber said.
Those attributes have been on display during the Hardwood Classic. Dykstra scored eight points with four rebounds during LC’s quarterfinal win over Cashmere and had nine points, six rebounds and four assists during the semifinals against Granger. That came after she logged seven assists in a regional win over Charles Wright.
“I think we are playing our best basketball of the year right now,” Dykstra said. “I think this is the best time to do it.”
Dykstra follows in a long line of talented LC point guards. Even though she started nearly every game last season, she’s taken over full time point guard duties for graduate Makayla Lancaster. The experience she got last season, Dykstra said, has been critical for her success this season.
“I made a lot of mistakes last year and a lot of turnovers,” Dykstra said. “I had to learn from it, and I think that kind of proved to me more that I needed to improve.”
She entered the Hardwood Classic averaging 6.9 points per game, and her offense has come along enough that Bomber has given her the green light to attack when she feels she needs to.
“Lots of times we have a size advantage and teams want to take our post players away,” Bomber said. “She is confident enough to knock down shots when they are there. And that opens things up.”
Surely, Bomber is excited he has a blossoming player such as Dykstra for two more years.