Friday, October 7, 2022
Oct. 7, 2022

Linkedin Pinterest

Columbia River falls flat in second half of quarterfinal loss to Lynden

Chieftains led by seven at half, scoring nine points in second half

By , Columbian Staff Writer
Published:
5 Photos
Columbia River's Jacob Hjort (12) drives past Lynden's Brock Heppner (12) during the WIAA 2A boys state basketball tournament on Thursday, Mar. 1, 2018, at the Yakima Valley SunDome. Lynden Lions defeated Columbia River Chieftains 44-33.
Columbia River's Jacob Hjort (12) drives past Lynden's Brock Heppner (12) during the WIAA 2A boys state basketball tournament on Thursday, Mar. 1, 2018, at the Yakima Valley SunDome. Lynden Lions defeated Columbia River Chieftains 44-33. (TJ Mullinax/for The Columbian) Photo Gallery

YAKIMA — The Columbia River boys might not have known exactly what it took to beat a one-seed going into Thursday’s matchup against top-slotted Lynden.

But they sure knew it’d take more than scoring nine points in the second half.

The Chieftains saw a strong first half performance and seven-point halftime lead slip away in the second half of a 44-33 loss to the Lions in the 2A state quarterfinals in the Yakima Valley SunDome on Thursday evening.

“We just can’t beat a quality team scoring nine points in the second half,” River coach David Long said. “We needed offense and didn’t have it … that’s not going to beat a good team.”

Even when the Chieftains’ offense fell flat, they still kept the lead within reach—until late.

When Jacob Hjort hit 1 of 2 free throws to pull River within five points with less than three minutes to play, the Chieftains were pushed around on the glass, and Lynden was able to get to the foul line.

The Lions scored the final six points from there on out.

“We gave it away down the stretch,” River guard Caden Dezort said. “Battled in the first half. Press was tough, but we’ve been handling that all season. We knew we were going to have to handle the press well, we did. Nine points in the second half isn’t enough to win a game, especially at the tournament.”

Columbia River shot 45 percent from the field in the second half, then churned out 17.6 percent shooting in the second. Lynden wasn’t much better, finishing with a 35.6 percent mark on the night, but the Lions won the glass—handily. Lynden out-rebounded River 36-17 and pulled down 10 of its 17 offensive rebounds in the second half.

“They amped their defense up in the second half,” Dezort said. “[We] could definitely feel it, especially in the half court set.”

Hjort finished with 16 points and scored 6 of the team’s 9 second half points through a tight layer of defense.

A win would have solidified a semifinal match against familiar foe Mark Morris, which beat River at the last second twice in the past month.

Long, however, did find the silver lining—kind of.

He was proud of the way his team handled the full-court pressure. No 24 hours prior, the Chieftains were given fits by Fife’s relentless full-court press, and came close to fumbling a 20-point halftime lead in the second half.

“I don’t feel like we gave this one away like we almost did last night,” the Chieftians’ coach said. “Their pressure was pretty good, it was a very physical game and we’re not a physical team. We had three seniors last year who were really physical kids and we needed a couple of those guys tonight. Our team is a finesse team.”

The Chieftains shot just four free throws on the night opposite Lynden’s 14.

River’s season isn’t over. It plays Renton, who lost to Mark Morris Thursday afternoon, at 12:15 p.m. Friday. The Chieftains are playing for fourth place.

“My kids are aware that if we win tomorrow, we’re going to trophy,” Long said, “and if we don’t it’s still been a heck of a year.”

LYNDEN 44 COLUMBIA RIVER 33
COLUMBIA RIVER—Jacob Hjort 16, Evan Dirksen 3, Caleb Dezort 6, Jack Armstrong 0, Nasseen Gutierrez 6, Nate Snook 2, David Anderson 0, Mason Waite 0, Kiran Brar 0, Skyler Grote0, Brenden Geist 0, Kyle Gomez 0. 12-37 (6-23) 3-4 33.
LYNDEN—Kobe Elsner 0, Blake Silves 7, James Marsh 6, Clayton Whitman 12, Christian Zamora 14, Brock Heppner 5, Trey LeBounty 0, Noah Walker 0, Dakota Baar 0, Carson Bode 0, Jacob Kettels 0. Totals 16-45 (4-17) 8-14 44.
Columbia River 12 12 5 4—33
Lynden 10 9 10 15—44

Columbian Staff Writer

Support local journalism

Your tax-deductible donation to The Columbian’s Community Funded Journalism program will contribute to better local reporting on key issues, including homelessness, housing, transportation and the environment. Reporters will focus on narrative, investigative and data-driven storytelling.

Local journalism needs your help. It’s an essential part of a healthy community and a healthy democracy.

Community Funded Journalism logo
Loading...