The girls basketball team put on a defensive showcase to soundly beat Sedro-Woolley 61–23 at home.
The Borderites controlled the February 4 Northwest Conference (NWC) matchup from the outset, but improved quarter by quarter.
“We were a little sluggish in the first quarter, but in the next three we played our game. Everyone was where they were supposed to be, and it showed,” said head coach Ryan Pike.
Taylor V’Dovec led scoring with 18 points, with Mandy Hayes right on her tail with 17 points for Blaine. Point guard Breanna Chau tallied nine assists while Alexis McElwain led the team in steals and rebounds, with six and 13 respectively.
The Borderites were relentless on defense, forcing 28 turnovers with 18 steals. They ran a full-court press for most of the game, trapping the ball carrier to force turnovers and capitalizing with fast breaks and easy lay-ins.
“Defensively I thought we did some great things. Our weak side defense helped out and forced a lot of stops. You really couldn’t ask for a better defensive effort than how we played tonight,” Pike said.
Senior Olivia Olason was also happy with her team’s defensive performance.
“We wanted to trap a lot and force turnovers. Our goal was to get lay-ins instead of running our offense, and we were able to do that,” Olason said. “I thought we really came together as a team.”
Olason scored eight points, hauled in three rebounds and contributed two steals. Eight Borderites put points on the board.
With the win, the Borderites improve to an 8–3 NWC record and 13–6 overall. They will play their final game of the regular season at home against Burlington-Edison Friday, February 7. The game is parents’ night, when seniors honor their parents for all the support they give the athletes.
Pike said the game will be a challenging one because it will determine whether Burlington-Edison is first or second in 2A standings, while the outcome won’t affect the Borderites’ postseason standings.
“They’ll be playing for their standings, so we’ll need to come out strong and play our best. Even though it won’t affect our standings, we’d like to end the regular season with a win and carry that momentum into the district tournament,” Pike said.
Speaking of the district tournament, the Borderites will take on the NWC 1A No. 4 seed, most likely Nooksack Valley, at home Tuesday, February 11 for the first round. The Borderites are the No. 2 seed in NWC 1A.
Blaine narrowly pulled off a win the last time they faced Nooksack Valley. If they beat Nooksack Valley on Tuesday, the Borderites will likely face Kings in the next round. In all likelihood, they will eventually have to face conference-leading Lynden Christian to get to the state tournament. Blaine lost to the Lyncs 44–42 in their conference-opener December 19.
Blaine players and coaches agree that they’re ready for the postseason, and their eyes are firmly set on the next goal:
“We want a district championship,” Olason said.