Bucs defense scattered against Lions | State basketball

Lynden's John Shine strips the ball from Kingston's Sam Byers during mid-shot Friday night during the 2A semi-final basketball game in the Yakima Valley SunDome. The Lions 65-39 sends the Kingston Buccaneers into the third/fifth bracket.
— image credit: Kipp Robertson/ Herald

YAKIMA -- Lynden had one of its best games of the season Friday night during the semi-finals at the Hardwood Classic, head coach Brian Roper said.

The Lynden Lions' 65-39 victory against the Kingston Buccaneers in the Yakima Valley SunDome does two things: gives the Lions a shot at the 2A state title and sends the Bucs into the consolation bracket for third or fifth place.

"I have a lot of respect for them," Roper said of the Bucs. "We just happened to shoot the ball better."

The Bucs now face the Lindbergh Eagles Saturday at 1 p.m. for a shot at third place. The Lions play White River in the championship game at 3 p.m. Lindbergh lost 43-40 against White River Friday night.

During the semi-final game against the Lions, Kingston Coach Blake Conley said a lack of communication on defense and the team's lack of shots hindered the Bucs. The defense, which had a total of 24 rebounds, could not make up for the Lions' onslaught of shots. The Lions were 23 for 53 in shot attempts, including 10/21 in three-point attempts. The Bucs were 14/42 overall in shots and 4/12 in three-pointers.

"That's a great team, they're very good," Conley said. "Their coach said that is the best they've played all year ... Unfortunately that was against us, during our worst [first] half of the year."

The Bucs scored three points to the Lions' 16 in the first quarter. By the half, the Lions were up 23-5. The Bucs began turning it around, however.

In the third quarter, the Bucs scored 13 points to the Lions' 14. In the fourth, the Bucs out-scored, making 18 over the Lions 12.

Though they were down 39-8 at the half, Conley said he was proud of how the team handled itself.

One key to the Lions' game, Roper said, was wearing Kingston's Sam Byers down as early as they could. Byers, who scored 26 points against Anacortes in the first game of the state tournament, was held to eight points. Kingston's KT Deam scored eight as well. And Lucas Mays helped boost the team with a total of 12 points.

"Tonight wasn't for lack of effort," Conley said.

Now, Conley said he "wants to send the senior players off right." The team still has a shot at third. Conley said the final game of a State tournament is more about "mental toughness." It will be the Bucs' third game in three days.

"That game is more about guts and heart than it is about execution," he said following Friday night's loss.

Team Scoring
Lynden 16 23 14 12 - 65
Kingston 3 5 13 18 - 39
Kingston Individual Scoring
Sam Byers 8, Cody Combs 4, KT Deam 8, Josh DeCoteau 5, Lucas Mays 12, Brady Sundquist 2


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