Blaine moves into 2nd place tie
Blaine defeated Nooksack Valley 56-54 in overtime in North Cascades Conference boys basketball action on January 4, the win moving the Borderites into a second place tie with the Pioneers, both holders of 4-1 NCC records.
With 3.8 seconds left in OT and the teams tied 54-54, Blaine defender Skyler Anderson was fouled as the Pioneers missed a bid for a deuce. Anderson turned his two free throws into a pair of points and a 56-54 Borderite win, the latter becoming official when NVs Jason Heutinks three-point seeking last-second shot failed to fall through the hoop.
The Double Bs took an 18-10 first quarter lead, 12 of their 18 points coming on treys by Ryan Pike, Cory Crews, Keith Williams and Grant Sanders. The Pioneers came back in Q2, outscored the Borderites 13-7 and left coach Dan Ruckers squad with a 25-23 lead at the half.
Blaine parleyed a 5-2 superiority in deuces, 2-1 edge in treys against a 2-0 deficit in free throw successes into a 16-9 third Q advantage and 9-point lead. The Bs edged their lead to 13 points with 5:17 left in Q4. Then came three minutes of Pioneer prominence.
Kyle Boon book-ended a 10-point display of Pioneer scoring by Heutink with a pair of three-pointers as NV outscored Blaine 16-2 to take a 51-50 lead. Crews tucked in a lay-up with 1:12 left to put Blaine back in front until Tyson Scheenstra hit one of two free throw tries to knot things at 51-all.
Regulation time was down to milli-seconds when a jumper by Blaines Williams hovered on the hoop before falling off to send the tilt into OT where advantage shifted back and forth. Heutink pair of freebee points, that put the Pioneers 2-up, was matched by Williams deuce.
With three minutes left in OT, the Pioneers decided to hold the ball, play keep-away and wait for that last shot. It was all air ball and accompanied by a NV foul that sent Blaine defender Anderson to the penalty line for his game-winning heroics.
Heutink scored a game-high 20 points and Darren Vinkes retrieved a game-high 9 rebounds for Nooksack. Cory Crews led Blaine with 15 points and Ryan Pike got 9 points and 9 rebounds.
The Borderites are on the road for games against Mt. Baker on December 11 and Meridian on December 15..
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top Lady Bs for NCC first place
Nooksack Valley (5-3 overall, 5-0 NCC) won the battle of the North Cascades Conferences four-and-noes with a 51-42 basketball win over Blaine (6-3 overall, 4-1 NCC) at the Big Orange on January 4 to take possession of first place in the NCC.
The Pioneers started with three seniors and two juniors; Blaine, with two seniors, a junior and two sophomores. But NVs edge in experience wasnt the crucial determinant of the games outcome. The difference was most likely NVs coach Shane Wichers moving 5-7 Pioneer guard Katie Robinson from bench to court.
Scoring was as scarce as snow on the sun in the games early going. The two teams battled through four minutes and 10 seconds of scoreless competition before Becky Riddle hit a close-in counter to begin three minutes and 50 seconds of Blaine outscoring NV 10-2. The future was looking bright for the Borderites.
But the looking was more myopic than meaningful as NV came out with a full court press, the aggressiveness of a pack of annoyed Grizzlies and Katie. It translated into a 20-11 second quarter and one point halftime lead in favor of Nooksack.
Q3 was clam close, the Pioneers outscoring the Lady Bs 10-9, but Q4 was much more than a minute old when Jessica Summers drove the baseline to tie it 34-34. And it wasnt long after that Devin Dykstra had edged NV up by one, then two on a pair of successful free throws and Linsey Taylor had tied it up again at 36-36.
But then came a 15-6 difference in scoring favoring Nooksack and it was over. Hemingways moment of truth came before anyone could say Katie Robinson. The 5-7 soph guard put NV ahead 43-40 with a deuce with four minutes left and further ahead 46-40 with a trey a few seconds later.
Robinson, 18 points, and Devin Dykstra, 14 points and 7 rebounds, led NV. Summers, 11 points, and Anna Sticklin, 9 points and 7 rebounds, paced the Lady Bs.
The Lady Bs host Mt. Baker on January 10 and Meridian on January 15. Both games go at 7:30 p.m.
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Blaines wrestling team lost 45-24 to Granite Falls and 48-24 to Sultan on December 13 at home. Borderite sophomore and first-year wrestler Dustin Hartman won his first two matches of the NCC season, pinning G-Falls David Ingraham in 1:44 and Sultans Kevin Criswell in 1:22 at 140 pounds. Blaines Danny Le, Tyler Glahn, Richie Tewes and Randy Newton also picked up twin victories on December 13. Glahn defeated Mt. Vernons Beau Robedeau at the Paul Reisman Invitational on December 15 to win the 125-lb. class in Mt. Vernon.
Ducks, Orcas and Grads
Blaine grad and Oregon sophomore Luke Ridnour put in 15 points in UOs 86-51 win over Northern Arizona on December 16 and hit for 12 as UO beat Arizona State 103-90 in Pac-10 basketball action in Eugene on December 20.
Blaine grad and WCC Orca Heidi Collier was named to the All-Tournament Team at the NAACC cross-over basketball tourney at Olympic College. Collier got 9 points and 10 rebounds as WCC defeated Lane CC of Eugene, Oregon, 74-63 in the championship game on December 16.
Collier scored 8 points as WCC defeated Douglas College 87-35 on December 28 at WCC.
Donovan in Paradise
Semiahmoo resident Larry Donovan will coach in the Paradise Bowl on January 12. The game will be on Fox TV. Donovan is presently head coach of the Hitachi Hurricanes of the Japanese Corporation League. He is a former head coach at Montana University and the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League.
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