The girls basketball team had their first loss away in Ferndale on Friday, but steamrolled Meridian at home Monday night, advancing their record to 4-1.
On Friday, December 7, the girls battled their way out of a huge hole against Ferndale to gain a brief one-point lead in the third quarter, but lost the lead to a Ferndale three-pointer, and never recovered.
Ferndale dominated play in the first quarter, gaining a 23-7 lead. Shot opportunities were few and far between for Blaine, and those shots didn’t seem to want to go in. The second quarter saw a shift as Blaine shored up its defense and began to chip away at the Ferndale lead. In the third quarter, Blaine went on an impressive run, with sophomore Mandy Hayes, junior Alexis McElwain and sophomore Taylor V’Dovec scoring often. The girls carried their team all the way out of the hole and into the lead, with a score of 35-34 near the end of the third.
That’s when Ferndale’s Koral Weidkamp scored a three-pointer, and the Golden Eagles held on to their lead for the rest of the game. The final score was Ferndale 47, Blaine 40. McElwain, Hayes and V’Dovec scored 12, 11 and 10 points respectively.
“We played hard and played well,” coach Ryan Pike said. “Our goal was to break their press and slow down the game, which we were able to do, but they hit their shots and we missed some key shots, which made the difference. We know we’ll get them at home.”
The starters played almost the whole game in Ferndale, in contrast to the Meridian home game on Monday, December 10, in which all the girls got ample playing time.
V’Dovec achieved a double-double in the 56-18 victory over Meridian, with 15 points and 11 rebounds. The standout sophomore was named Athlete of the Week, receiving a Certificate of Achievement from the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association.
Blaine set an effective full-court press from the outset, which Meridian struggled to cross. Meridian was held scoreless at the end of the first quarter.
Throughout the game, Blaine put more effort on the floor: diving on loose balls, coming up with a majority of rebounds (50 to Meridian’s 26), and stealing the ball (19 to Meridian’s 8).
Coach Pike saw the game as a good confidence builder for Friday’s matchup against Lynden-Christian, but Meridian’s zone defense didn’t offer a preview of Lynden-Christian’s defense.
“In terms of practice, Lynden-Christian plays a man-to-man defense, so not a lot of what we did tonight will carry over to that game,” Pike said. “But any game is good experience. If we execute right, I think we can get them (Lynden-Christian). I think we can compete with anyone in the state if we get a game plan and execute like we should.”
“Lynden-Christian is good, but they lost to Ferndale like we did, so it should be a pretty competitive game,” he added.
The girls face Lynden-Christian at home Friday, December 14 at 7:15 p.m. in their first conference game of the season.