Devin Coppinger and Lainey Kimball’s doubles doubles propel Nooksack Valley to 63-48 in Lynden Christmas Classic
LYNDEN – The Pioneers rebounded from their loss to top Tumwater.
After being launched in competition at the Lynden Christmas Classic the day before, the Pioneers made a success of their short journey. Nooksack Valley took the place of the Tahoma late retirement tournament.
The Pioneers didn’t miss a beat against Mount Si, crushing offensive boards for second chance opportunities and converting to a much higher clip off the foul line.
Mount Si, the tournament’s only 4A schedule, had just lost 62-49 to Lynden Christian.
Nooksack Valley head coach Shane Wichers said the team are thrilled to be able to play in any capacity.
“The most important thing is, number one, we were thrilled to have the games,” Wichers said. “A lot of people aren’t getting games right now.”
The Pioneers got another monster game from second-year guard Devin Coppinger, who posted a record 26 points on a 10-on-16 shot from the field. She made a double-double with 12 rebounds in total, including seven on the offensive side. His effort was completed with 4 more assists and 2 steals.
It was not just Coppinger who had grown old one night. Second-year guard Lainey Kimball matched Coppinger’s effort on the glass, scoring his own 12-point, 12-rebound double-double. Junior guard Hallie Kamphouse drilled three 3-pointers en route to a 13-point exit.
“Offensively it was just a little fluid tonight,” Coppinger said. “Everyone was hitting, everyone was scoring. It wasn’t just me; it wasn’t just Hallie [Kamphouse] three-way shoot, everyone was really good. We could count on everyone tonight.
Mount Si was more effective on the court (42.6% to 39.3%), but Nooksack Valley had nine more shots, converted 10 more free throws and nearly doubled the Wildcats’ rebound count.
Wichers said the Pioneers’ defensive effort was a big part of the game.
“We felt, defensively, that we hadn’t done some things as well as we could have against Tumwater, and they’re a great team, so we really wanted to be better defensively tonight and make it a bit more difficult for them. I think we did a good job.
After trailing 11-9 after the first quarter, Nooksack Valley turned on the jets and never looked back. With 5:53 to go in a second, it was tied at 13-all. The Pioneers finished the first half 21-4 and came in at half time in the lead 32-17.
The Wildcats fired back in the third to reduce the lead from 18 points to seven at the end of the quarter. The Pioneers’ 21-point fourth quarter, capped by a three-one-in-a-row galvanization, propelled Nooksack Valley to victory.
“I got one to start the little and one series, then Lainey [Kimball] I got one right after and it just kicked up our energy, ”Coppinger said. “At that point, I knew we couldn’t be stopped.”
Even though they missed free throws on two of them, the Pioneer bench and fan section controlled all the noise in the building. They streaked to victory from there.
Mount Si got virtually all of her points from junior guard Grace Turley and senior center Lauren Glazier. They combined for 43 of the Wildcats’ 48 points, with Glazier at 25 and Turley at 18.
“It’s a great experience, every time you play against a team of this caliber you get better,” said Wichers. “We were really excited to be able to play. “
Nooksack Valley has gone 6-2 overall (4-0 NWC) this season. Their next field opportunity will be on the road at Mount Baker (2-5 total, 0-4 NWC) on Tuesday, Jan. 4, for a 7:00 p.m. tipoff.