YAKIMA – There will be no three-peat. And there apparently was no whistle tweet, either.
The Cascade Christian boys basketball team’s bid to advance to a third consecutive 1A state championship game was spoiled Friday as Lynden Christian defeated the Cougars, 40-38, at the SunDome.
Cascade Christian coach Jerry Williams, though, isn’t sure that’s how the game should have ended.
With the Cougars trailing by two following a missed free throw by Lynden Christian’s Truman Van Dalen with 8.9 seconds left, Jacob Kushan was trapped just as he arrived in the front court between the 3-point line and half court. He wound up on the ground amid the Lyncs’ pressure.
The buzzer sounded and Cascade Christian was unable to get a shot off. No foul was called as Lynden Christian players stormed the court to celebrate advancing to tonight’s 1A state title game.
Williams believes he heard a whistle, however.
“A foul is a foul,” Williams said. “I thought I heard the whistle. We all looked over. We thought they were signaling a foul, and they blew it off.”
The loss puts the two-time defending 1A state champion Cougars (20-8) into today’s 11:15 a.m. third/fifth-place game against Cashmere (22-3).
Shawn Spencer had a team-best 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Cougars, who trailed 13-2 at one stretch in the first quarter. Cascade Christian never led, but the Cougars rallied to get to within two in the fourth at 34-32 with 2:42 left following a bucket by Jake Archer, who finished with six points.
Given what his team has done this season with five new starters and entering the state tournament unranked, Williams said his team has exceeded his expectations.
“I told them I’m more proud of this team than any team I’ve ever coached,” he said.
“What they’ve accomplished from the beginning of the season until now Nobody thought they would do what they did.”
Lynden Christian will play Zillah, last year’s runner-up, at 7 tonight in the title game.