The King’s girls basketball team narrowly missed an opportunity to give both the boys and girls teams from the school back-to-back state championships on Saturday.
Lynden Christian came from behind in the fourth quarter to beat the Knights 43-38 to win the 1A girls state championship.
The King’s boys defeated Freeman 80-39 earlier Saturday to win their second straight championship.
“I’m proud of our girls,” King’s head coach Dan Taylor said. “We played a phenomenal season. Everybody always bases the season on if you win. I feel like our girls were very victorious. That game could’ve gone either way. We had a big lead and Lynden Christian finished strong.”
The Knights were led in defeat by senior guard Daylee Hanson, who finished with 22 points, 13 of which came in the first half. Hanson shot 5-for-12 in the first half, while the rest of the team shot just 2-for-14.
“She did great,” Taylor said. “We talked about it all day, ‘this is your time. It’s your last game and your last 32 minutes to shine, so do what you can.’ She was nursing an injury in her calf and she stepped up.”
Hanson provided the offense, but the defense was a group effort. Lynden Christian senior Kara Bajema, who averages over 14 points per game, was held to four points on 2-for-11 shooting in the first half.
However, Bajema came alive in the second half scoring 10 of her 14 points to lead the comeback.
“Defense was great,” Taylor said. “Our goal was to not let her get over 20. (Avery) Dykstra was the one that stepped up and hit some big shots.”
Dykstra finished with 13 points.
The Knights led by two at the end of the first and second quarters, but began to extend the lead in the third quarter. Hanson scored the first four points of the half and the Knights stretched the lead to as many as eight in the quarter.
The Lyncs cut the deficit to four by the end of the third quarter and came out on fire in the fourth. Dykstra’s 3-pointer with 5:33 to play in the game gave Lynden Christian a 35-34 lead. The bucket gave the Lyncs the momentum and got the crowd back in the game.
The Lyncs led 39-36 with less than 1:30 to play in the game before King’s pulled to within one on two free throws by Maddie Neilsen.
The Knights didn’t score again.
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on Twitter at @aaronlommers and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Yakima Valley SunDome
King’s 8 11 13 6 —38
L. Christian 6 11 11 15 —43
King’s—Casey Kispert 0, Maddie Nielsen 4, Kendall Adams 6, Hannah Echelbarger 2, Daylee Hanson 22, Anna Parker 2, Abbi Echelbarger 2, Audrey Friedline 0. Lynden Christian—Isabela Hernandez 3, Haley Hollander 5, Shaye Brandsma 0, Kara Bajema 14, Sam Van Loo 8, Riley Van Hulzen 0, Avery Dykstra 13, Emmalee Bailey 0. Records—King’s 21-6 overall. Lynden Christian 25-2.