The boys basketball team, made up mostly of young and inexperienced players, is starting to adjust to the varsity playing level after a few early season losses.
The Borderites were beaten 92–54 at Ferndale December 13, and lost an extremely close home game against Meridian 56–54 December 16.
Blaine coach Shaun Pile said the Meridian game was a fun one. “Obviously we came down on the wrong side, but it went
back and forth all game and we made a strong rally in the fourth quarter,” he said.
After allowing Meridian to build a double-digit lead in the third quarter, the Borderites scrapped their way back to within one point of the Trojans in the fourth.
Leading scorer Josiah Westbrook was penalized on a tough charging call late in the game, and a Meridian rebound sealed the game.
Scoring was spread among Blaine players, which was a positive sign for Pile and a stark contrast to prior games, in which Westbrook scored a majority of the team’s points. Junior Sean Herrig and sophomore Carson Knutzen each scored 12 points for Blaine.
“It was encouraging to see other guys stepping up,” Pile said. “Little by little, Herrig is understanding that he’s a great shooter and he needs to take more shots.”
The game at Ferndale was much less encouraging. The Golden Eagles defended Westbrook out of the game with a box-on-one defense, and the Borderites struggled to adjust.
“When Westbrook is averaging 28 points a game, it’s a pretty obvious strategy to try and focus your defense on him,” Pile said. “The rest of our players were having a hard time being aggressive on their own. That comes with inexperience.”
Sophomore post player Shaq Woods wasn’t at the Ferndale game, which also played a factor in Blaine’s limited offensive production, Pile said.
Shaq returned to play in the Meridian game, and coupled with more well-rounded scoring, Pile said he was pleased overall with his team’s performance at home against Meridian.
The Borderites will face a tough Lynden Christian game for their league opener at home on Thursday, December 19 at 7:15 p.m.
They will make up a game against Mount Baker at home Saturday, December 21 at noon.