by Jack Kintner
Borderites make good showing at Winter Classic
The Borderite boys won and the girls got second place
in the annual Winter Classic holiday basketball tournament
hosted by Blaine high school.
The girls began their side of things by defeating a determined but shorter team from Earl Marriott Secondary in White Rock, B.C. Though coach Rob Adams chafed at Blaine’s lackluster 16 for 65 (less than 25 percent) shooting from the field, the hustling defense led by Kristen Elsbree that out rebounded Marriott 32-28 kept the Canadians at bay for the win. Junior guards Alyssa Hendrickson (17 points) and Kailey Walter (7 points including a trey) led the way offensively.
The second night, however, the Lady B’s ran into Burlington-Edison who coasted to a 57-35 win for the tournament championship. Hendrickson again scored 17 points, followed by Walter’s 6, but the defense just wasn’t there as the Tigers built up leads of 17-6 in the first quarter, 35-21 at the half and 46-31 in the third quarter before outscoring the lady B’s 11-4 in the final quarter for the easy victory.
The Borderite boys did essentially the same thing to Elgin Park, B.C., in their first tournament game. The B’s quickly opened up a 25-7 lead after the first quarter and a 47-19 halftime score enroute to a decisive 73-36 victory, which qualified them to meet Burlington-Edison for the tournament championship the next night. The league’s seventh-leading scorer, Borderite guard Mike Pianki, scored 12 points, and junior post Joey Paciorek got a double double, with ten points and a game-high 16 of Blaine’s 50 rebounds.
This set the stage for one of the better games seen in Blaine for some time as the Borderites, despite having four players (Paciorek, Shockey, Tewalt and Bleecker) foul out, beat the Tigers 63-61 in overtime on Ryan Goodwin’s running right-hander with nine seconds left. It’s one of the few times Blaine has won without the band there to raise the roof, so it’s a kind of coming of age for a team whose offensive output thus far (over 70 points in five of their first seven games) has head coach Dan Rucker smiling, every so often at least.
Blaine led at the half 30 - 23, and Burlington, led by six-five sophomore guard Jake Anderson’s 23 points, outscored Blaine by the same amount in the second half to tie the game at 53 at the end of regulation. For the whole game, Blaine shot 42 percent from the field to the Tiger’s 32 percent, the difference coming at the foul line where the Tigers were 27 for 40 (68 percent) to Blaine’s 17 for 28 (50 percent) chances. Again, the zebras saw more to whistle on Blaine’s end of things, and did.
“This speaks to our depth,” said Rucker, “as everybody’s playing in every game because we’re deeper than we have been in the past. This time Tewalt stepped in for Paciorek who fouled out early in the fourth quarter, and then when he fouled out Cole Avery went in for him and got two huge free throws for us under pressure that tied the game.”
Mike Pianki also got a roof-raising trey for some exciting fourth-quarter and over-time cat and mouse.
In the end it all came down to Ryan “Hondo” Goodwin, nicknamed by the team after long-time Boston Celtic John Havlicek, who Goodwin resembles in his style of play and quiet off-court personality. Both players excelled in the pressure of overtime games, and this time Goodwin, playing with four fouls, brought the ball upcourt after Burlington-Edison had tied it at 61 and hit a runner from the left side of the lane with just a few seconds left to ice the game and the tournament championship for the 5-2 Borderites.
This next week the boys are again at home on Tuesday, January 10, to face a tough Lynden Christian squad at 7:30 p.m. The girls play Meridian on Friday night, January 6, at home also beginning at 7:30.
Slivers from the bench
the press of family responsibilities, Blaine high school
teacher Dave Fakkema, 39, resigned earlier this week
as head football coach. With boys in the third, fourth
and fifth grades he said he could see the head coaching
responsibilities quickly becoming too much. “With
three games on Saturday after Friday night’s game
my parents would often come up to help us move people around.
Given where my kids are I just can’t give to the
program the kind of commitment it needs,” Fakkema
“The support from the community and from the school administration has been tremendous through what were a tough couple of rebuilding years,” Fakkema said. He repeated remarks from this year’s football banquet about how much the loyalty of five players that went all the way through his coaching tenure meant, “Nick Jordan, Sam Abrams, Ryan Henley, Mike Poitras and Blayne Brandenburger – they stuck it out and had the satisfaction of winning some good games in the end,” he said.
When asked if this means he will now have his fall afternoons free, he emphatically said, “I certainly hope not!” Fakkema has asked both Blaine athletic director Gary Clausen and high school principal Dan Newell to keep him on as an assistant coach. Both assured him that they would make the point in discussing the position with possible candidates.
“Of course, I don’t know if the new coach will want that, but I hope so,” Fakkema said. A new Blaine coach would be hard-pressed to duplicate Fakkema’s football knowledge, gained from four years as a center and a tackle under coaches Jim Walden and Dennis Ericksen at Washington State University from 1984 to 1988, including two one-point Apple Cup victories in 1985 (21-20) and 1988 (32-31). Though his long-snap skills could have virtually guaranteed him a pro career, repeated surgeries on a blown knee kept him from going that direction.
Fakkema has taught in Blaine for 13 years and currently teaches psychology, history and advanced placement (AP) history courses. He posted a 7-31 record in his four years as head coach, following two winless seasons (2002 and 2003) by going 3-7 in 2004 and 4-6 this past year and nearly doubling the number of boys participating in the program.
Borderites at Key Arena
The Blaine girls basketball program will be taking on the Lynden Lions on January 28 at noon in the Key Arena located in Seattle. Tickets are $26 dollars and include the Blaine girl’s game and the Seattle Supersonics vs. Jason Kidd, Vince Carter, Richard Jefferson and the rest of the New Jersey Nets. For ticket information, contact Connie Pilon at the Blaine high school office at 332-6045.