Sports -- November 20, 2003

Published on Thu, Nov 20, 2003
Read More Sports

SPORTS
by Jack Kintner

Blaine finishes second at annual AAU basketball tournament

Blaine�s annual seventh and eighth grade boys AAU basketball tournament, this year sponsored by local sandwich and pizza man Dale Schrader and billed as the Subway Hoop Classic, saw Lynden emerge as the winner with a perfect 5-0 record over the tourney�s two days.

Eighth grade
Red Goodwin, long-time director of the local AAU program who turned over the reigns this year to Blaine coach Wayne Schouten said Lynden is a good team. �They�re one of the better teams north of Seattle, and don�t lose very often,� he stated. As it was, Blaine came closest among the other five tournament teams, staying even with Lynden for the first 10 minutes in the Sunday afternoon title game.

Blaine then hit a dry spell, however, at the same time that a combination of Lynden�s ball-hawking defense and Lynden forward Brady Bomber�s shooting opened a gap of 11 points.

With six minutes left Blaine guard Conner Oldham sunk a three to close within eight points. Lynden lost the ball on their next possession but Oldham�s second three point attempt rimmed out, and Lynden slowly pulled away to win by 17 points, 46-29.

Blaine�s six-foot-three-inch center Cole Avery and back-up center and forward Cody Barthlow provided consistent scoring in double figures in all five games. Avery�s size and strength showed that despite being double-teamed he was still able to force most of his shots over Lynden�s frustrated center Adam DeLange, who fouled out with several minutes left in the contest. Lynden scoring was led by forwards Brady Bomber and Tate Dallas.

Seventh grade
The Ferndale Golden Eagles seventh grade AAU team defeated the Bellingham Regulators 52-50 in the Championship game of the Blaine AAU/Subway Hoop Classic last Sunday.

The Regulators, led by as many as 10 points on several occasions, but could not shake the resilient Eagles. Ferndale battled back, using a full court pressure defense� that forced the Regulators into committing several turnovers, that sparked the Ferndale rally.�

Tournament All Star Casey�Locker scored 20 points for the Golden Eagles in the championship game capping a solid all around tourney performance for the Eagle standout.�

The�Regulators were led by Cameron Beshara and Brandon Sanford who scored 18 and 14�points respectively�for the Bellingham squad.

Slivers from the bench

Baker ski area open
The Mt. Baker Ski Area opens today, nearly a month earlier than last year, with more snow than they had at the same time in the 95-foot record-setting season five years ago. Area spokesperson Gwyn Howat anticipates 80 percent of the mountain will be available today and that by the weekend chairs 6 and 7 will also open.

Blaine school district�s six-week winter ride program (six Saturdays in a row for $78) begins in January and has a new coordinator, Peggy Richardson, who can be reached at 332-0521 or 332-7938. sign-up deadline is Friday, December 5.

Winter sports begin
Blaine�s basketball season begins for both boys and girls the Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 29, with a jamboree in Lynden. Wrestling begins the following Wednesday, December 3, with a jamboree here.

Strong soccer season comes to an end, team finishes 14-7

The Borderite girls� strong fall soccer season ended last Saturday in the rain as they dropped a state tournament quarterfinal game 1-2 to the Eatonville Cruisers in neutral Sumner. They finish with a record identical to last year�s 14-7, and end in the same place, the state tournament quarterfinals.

Blaine�s head coach Dan Steelquist was direct after the game: �We outplayed them, but they outscored us.�

Blaine dominated in both shots on goal (12-6) and time of possession, but the Cruisers counter-attacking game that put a premium on speed also generated more goals that particular day.

Cruiser Jenny Baker�s first half goal, her 40th overall this season, was a rocket that the right-hander shot with her left foot following a breakaway. Senior keeper Shela Robertson, who finishes the year with nine shut-outs, stopped several other shots on goal until 15 minutes into the second half when the Cruiser�s fastest player, Megan Hecht, broke away down the left touchline for a direct shot. Robertson deflected it high into the air, but the bounce gave Cruiser Sarah Painter an easy shot that she tapped home for the game winner.

Blaine�s goal came as a result of a foul called when the ref spotted junior mid Andrea Harmening dribbling across the Cruisers� goal mouth with an Eatonville defender draped across her back like a bad Halloween costume.

�When the ref spotted the ball for Kimberly Harmening�s penalty kick, there was absolutely no doubt where it would go,� Steelquist said.

Harmening thundered a kick to the right as the Cruiser keeper sailed left, either having guessed wrong or just plain afraid of the ball. �Our girls controlled the pace of the game and had their chances up front,� said Steelquist, �they just didn�t finish. Every player stepped up big, though, because they play well at this level of competition. They know and understand the game so well that they play a mature and sophisticated style that�s fun to watch. They played with confidence, right up to the end.�

Some head out, some return next year
This was Steelquist�s seventh season, and he�ll have some big cleats to fill next year with the departure of both all-league keeper Shela Robertson and her backup, Issaquah transfer Holly Steckler. Also departing are mid Jenna Makalai, a transfer last year from Canada, all-league Kristina Francis and forwards Krista Jones and Kimberly Harmening.

He said losing six seniors, four of whom have lettered all four of their high school years, will force changes in next year�s style. �

We�ll score more goals, be quicker and a little smaller,� he said, �but we�ve got lots of talent returning, like Alyssa Hendrickson and Andrea Harmening, and other girls have been patiently waiting their turn, too.�

Not all of the girls are done with soccer. Some, such as Ainsley and Mackenzie Nix, will continue with Whatcom County�s FC Rangers select soccer program. They�ll participate in another tournament next month involving select teams from all over the state.