by Jack Kintner
Basketball: Boys continue to surprise, girls defeat Lynden
Boys basketball head coach Dan Rucker took his team to Seattle to play in a tournament at the University of Washington Hec Edmunson Pavilion over the winter break. The Borderites brought their record to 3-3 (1-0) in coming away with a split, losing a close one to a tough Bothell team by seven before roasting an out-gunned Kentlake team for breakfast the next day 62-48.
Blaine�s senior troika of shooting guard Ryan Alexander, floor leader Brendan Mulholland and high scoring Jake Gilmore communicated like siamese triplets in the first game, holding Bothell�s NCAA division 1 prospect Micah Downs to just 12 points. Bothell�s frustration led to three technical fouls for elbowing late in the game, but the four-A school eventually squeezed out the narrow win with clutch outside shooting by guard Stefan Clark.
A measure of Blaine�s effectiveness against them is that the next night Bothell dispatched a pretty good Lindberg by 38 points.
Blaine played Kentlake at 9:30 a.m. the next day and immediately jumped out to an eight-point lead, stretched it to 18-5 by the end of the first quarter and 34-17 at the half. Jake the Snake Gilmore got 28 points, nine of them with three point shots, and sophomore Ryan Goodwin added 15 points including one trey. Brendan Mulholland was Blaine�s leading rebounder with seven of the team�s 29.
Until the weather intervened, the boys were headed into a real test last Saturday against the LC Lynx. At press time the game had yet to be rescheduled, and the Tuesday night game with Mount Baker was also in doubt. The Lynx have one of the league�s best guards in six-foot-three-inch sophomore Greg Burgers and the league�s tallest player in six-foot-nine-inch senior Hunter Bouma. The Mountaineers are a shorter, running team.
Blaine senior Kristina Francis got hacked in the second quarter of the Lynden Christian (LC) game so hard it took her out of the game with a bloody nose. But she came back just before the end of the period, and in the second half led the Borderites to a well-earned 40-36 victory and a still-perfect 7-0 (3-0 league) record.
�It was a good character test,� said head coach Patrick Green, �and she passed it. When we took her into the locker room she told me to just stuff it with cotton and let her back in.�
In the first quarter Blaine charged to an 8-0 lead, LC not scoring until five minutes into the contest. The game, broadcast over KGMI, drew a sarcastic but accurate �there goes Blaine�s shutout!� from KGMI color commentator Mark Schoulten when LC finally broke the ice covering the basket at their end near the end of the quarter.
Francis left the game with 6:13 left in the second quarter, but returned to sink a corner jumper for a 10-point Blaine lead, 18-8, at the half. At this point LC was about as competitive as another group of Christians had been long ago when they played the Lions, Tigers and Bears all at once in Rome�s Coliseum.
But that all ended in the third quarter as the pesky Lynx chopped Blaine�s 10-point lead to one with two minutes left. Francis pulled Blaine away with free throws and others helped to get the lead back up to eight to begin the fourth quarter, but LC fought back to close within one point five more times, though they never tied or took the lead.
The first came with 4:20 left but Francis again sank a ten-footer to pull away 32-29. The teams traded turnovers and Francis then fouled an LC�er, who sank both her free throws to narrow the lead to 32-31. Francis again answered on the other end for a 34-31 lead but Kristin Berendsen responded for LC again to narrow the score to 34-33 with 3:11 left.
After a Lynden Christian turnover Jessica Summers was fouled by LC�s giant six-foot-four-inch Janbelle Auperlee and converted one of her two shots for a two point Blaine lead at 35-33 with just over two minutes left. Auperlee then drew a foul herself, sinking the backside of a 1 and 1 to narrow the score to 35-34 with 80 seconds left.
LC threw up a full-court press and stole the ball from Kristina Harmening but blew two shots before Jess Summers pulled the ball away and passed it back down court. Francis again got the ball but was fouled while shooting by De Haan, and converted only one of her two foul shots for a tenuous two point lead at 36-34 with 45 seconds left.
De Haan got the ball through Blaine�s press but missed her shot. Auperlee rebounded and also missed but was fouled by Kristina Harmening, her fifth. With 28.4 seconds left and her team two points behind, Auperlee missed both free-throws.
Auperlee then scored on a quick LC offensive play to close within two at 38-36. Ainsley Nix inbounded the ball to Francis, who was again fouled with eight seconds left, and again she sank both, as calmly as if she was throwing socks into the hamper, to move Blaine up by four, the final margin.
Francis led all scorers with 17. LC held Summers to just 10 shots and 13 points, but she did get a game-high 15 rebounds. �Their box and one, where four of their players do a four-man zone and one stays on Stretch (Summers), worked pretty well,� said Green, �but we see that a lot.�
The games scheduled for Tuesday night were postponed due to the weather.
Wrestling: Moore wins Paul Reiman Invitational
Calvin Moore, a 140-pound sophomore, won his first varsity meet at Mount Vernon�s Paul Reiman Invitational on the Saturday before Christmas.
He did this by soundly thrashing two of his three opponents and edging out the tournament�s No. 1 seed, Rudy Martinez of Sunnyside, 5-1. Earlier he beat Jesse Simpson from Anacortes 10-2 and finished out by hammering Burlington�s hapless Richard Bargewell 11-1 in the finals.
Two Borderites finished fourth, Jordan at 130 and Brandenburger at 171; Brady (119), Ducky Stremler (135) and Terris (heavyweight) all finished fifth. Blaine ended up placing seventh at the meet out of eight schools. A match at Mount Baker is next for the Borderites on the 8th; followed by Sehome high school�s all county King of the County tournament on January 9 and 10.
Slivers from the Bench
win Winter Classic
The Borderite girls last met Tenino on the soccer field in the state tournament, and came out second best. A measure of revenge was exacted in the winter basketball classic, hosted by Blaine, as the Borderites prevailed easily 64-35 in the first of two tournament games.
In the second game, Blaine beat triple-A Ingraham 54-40. Summers scored a season-high 31 points for a total of 59 for two games and added another 14 to her rebounding career record. Coach Green was especially happy about the infrastructure of his team.
�All the girls who do things that don�t show up in the headlines, like taking charges and bringing the ball up, all that worked well tonight. Just because Summers is filling the box scores doesn�t mean we aren�t a strong team,� Green said.
Jess �Stretch� Summers was named MVP for the Winter Classic basketball tournament that Blaine hosted over winter break, scoring a season high 31 points in the Borderite�s first game against Tenino. Kristina Francis and Shela Robertson were also named to the all-tournament team. Francis also broke the career assist record for Blaine in the Tenino game.
AAU placed third
Blaine�s sixth graders lost the first game by two, won the second by two the third by five for the bronze in the Burlington tournament over winter break. All three victories came in the last few seconds. In the third game against LaConner, with 27 seconds to go, LaConner narrowed the lead to three points but Blaine sank two free throws of their own to win by five and take 3rd place.
named new golf coach
Blaine science teacher Rob Bouma is taking over as the girl�s golf coach next season, beginning in April, from Jody Maxon.