The No. 2-ranked in state Lynden Lions can beat opposing teams many ways. The Lions can run up big numbers on the scoreboard, as the team averaged 70.6 points per game in 19 wins so far this season. They can clamp down on defense as opponents have averaged just 51.8 points per game against them this year. And the Lions can use their size advantage, with 10 players standing 6-feet or taller, including 6-foot-11 junior Liam Hanenburg.
The Mountlake Terrace Hawks learned of another weapon in the Lions’ arsenal on Tuesday — good free throw shooting.
Lynden converted 15 of 21 second-half attempts from the foul line to pull away and capture a 58-49 win over the Hawks in a District 1/2 2A Boys Basketball Tournament semifinal game played at Mount Vernon High School.
Terrace held a 30-25 advantage at halftime of Tuesday’s contest, but the Lions were perfect from the charity stripe (9-for-9) in the third quarter and outscored the Hawks 20-9 in that quarter to take control of the game.
In contrast, the Hawks struggled at the foul line, going just 2-for-7 in the contest.
Hanenburg, along with teammate Brock Heppner, each scored 16 points to lead the Lions. Jordan Medcalf added 10 points for district tourney No. 2 seed Lynden.
Mason Christianson led the Hawks in scoring with 12 points; Jace Breakfield contributed 10 points in the loss.
With the defeat, No. 3 seed Terrace moves into the consolation bracket of the district tourney and will have to win two straight loser-out games to qualify for the regional round of the 2A state tournament. The Hawks will next face the No. 5 seed Liberty Patriots on Thursday, Feb. 20; tipoff at Mount Vernon High School is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Prep Boys Basketball: Mountlake Terrace vs. Lynden, Feb. 18 (District 1/2 2A Boys Basketball Tournament semifinal game at Mount Vernon High School)
Terrace 14 16 9 10 — 49
Lynden 9 16 20 13 — 58
Mountlake Terrace individual scoring: Mason Christianson 12, Jace Breakfield 10, Jeffrey Anyimah 8, Muhammed Kinteh 8, Robbie Baringer 4, Trazz Pepper 3, Bradey Blackmer 2, Vitaly Mkrtychyan 2, Jai Nath
Lynden individual scoring: Brock Heppner 16, Liam Hanenburg 16, Jordan Medcalf 10, Koby Whitman 7, Clay Kochuten 6, Kaleo Jandoc 3, Harley Vandenberg, Jordan Elsner, Elijah Lyons, Austin Anderson, Ian Jacob
Records: Mountlake Terrace 16-6 overall; Lynden 20-2 overall
Mountlake Terrace next game: versus Liberty; Thursday, Feb. 20; 7:30 p.m. at Mt. Vernon High School (District 1/2 2A Boys Basketball Tournament loser-out game)
— By Doug Petrowski