YAKIMA — Tyler Lindhardt lived up to his promise.
When King’s coach Rick Skeen asked him to deliver the Class 1A state boys basketball championship, the savvy sophomore agreed to get the job done.
And he did, with a lot of help from his friends, of course.
Linhardt put together 25 points and 16 rebounds to lead the 14th-seeded Knights to a 70-67 overtime victory against No. 6 Lynden-Christian Saturday at the Yakima Valley SunDome.
Skeen, who won his third title in six years, took Linhardt aside just before the game.
“I said, ‘All you’ve got to do to take us to the title and win MVP, is get it done, any way possible,’” the coach said. “He looked me in the eye and said, ‘Coach, we’ll get it done, don’t worry about that.’”
Both missions accomplished — Linhardt earned MVP honors — even if Skeen did have to worry for a while, for good reason. Lynden-Christian (22-6) led by nine, 57-48, with just over a minute left in regulation after a three-point basket by Jayden DeBoer, son of coach Roger DeBoer.
But the Knights (19-10) got their offense untracked again and turned up the heat on defense with eight straight points, kick-started by Jordan Hansen’s three-pointer. And after DeBoer hit two free throws to make it 59-56 with 13.9 left in regulation, Hansen was left alone in the corner for the tying triple with 6.4 on the clock. L-C never got off a final shot.
Hansen, who had sat out much of the game in foul trouble, delivered four clutch free throws in the final 28 seconds — including two with 4.8 to play that made it 70-67. DeBoer’s three-point try at the buzzer wouldn’t fall.
“Coach says real good players knock down real big, tough, clutch shots,” Hansen said.
He finished with 16 points. Equally heroic was junior Shane McGaughey-Fick, who stepped up with 19 points, including a trio of threes.
“In the second quarter they (L-C) went on a little bit of a run, so I knew I had to step up for the team,” he said.
Linhardt said the Knights did not want to be denied after losing in last year’s semifinals and finishing third.
“We really wanted it,” he said. “We gave it up last time, and we just wanted to win so bad. … This is a great feeling, unmatched.”
It was the ninth consecutive state trophy for King’s.
“I’m just so proud of our kids,” Skeen said. “We talked about toughness all year long. … Our kids just stick with it and keep finding a way, keep finding a way, keep getting that one stop and we made big shots and we executed down the stretch.
“I’m just proud of the toughness they showed. They really grew up this year and that’s what makes me the most proud.”
DeBoer finished with a game-high 28 points, hitting 10 of 11 free throws, and was a first-team, all-tournament pick along with Seattle Academy’s Leo DeBruhl and Joe Cookson. Hansen wound up on the second team.
Skeen had kind words for the Lyncs, who also have a rich playoff history, including six titles, most recently in 2018
“L-C is about as first class as they come,” said. “Roger’s one of my best friends. I hate doing it that way, but somebody’s got to win and somebody’s got to lose.”
- The No. 4 Lindbergh boys finished fifth in the Class 2A state tournament after losing to No. 1 Lynden 72-58 in the third/fifth-place game. Mo Kora had 36 points and 12 rebounds for the Eagles (25-5).