Lynden High School basketball standout Scott Hastings made sure he was heard.
Behind Hastings’ big game, the Lions, who are top-ranked in Class 2A, took it to host White River for a physical 66-51 nonconference victory Saturday night in Buckley.
A question White River had was: How can you prepare for someone like Hastings – a 6-foot-7 junior forward who’s built like a tight end?
The fifth-ranked Hornets found out the answer Saturday – you can’t.
“You know, he’s a next-level kid,” White River coach Rick Tripp said of Hastings future as a Division I collegiate player. “Now he’s starting to get into his basketball groove. He can leap, and he has skill. Like I said, he’s a next-level kid.”
Hastings finished tied with a game-high 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field. He also pulled down 11 rebounds and blocked six shots.
“It’s not just the fact he was able to block shots,” Lynden coach Brian Roper said. “He also altered their shots ... he has good timing. He’s someone who presses well on both ends.”
Every time White River forced a turnover or went on a breakaway, Hastings greeted the player with the ball up top or down low, forcing the Hornets to attempt off-balance shots or to look elsewhere.
“Coach said to be more aggressive, and after the first quarter, I realized I wasn’t doing that much,” Hastings said. “I needed to attack the basket a little more ... I just tried to make that happen in the second half.”
After Lynden jumped out to a 13-6 first-quarter lead, White River came out red-hot in the second. The Hornets opened on a 7-0 run behind two Bo Dudley 3-pointers that left them trailing 15-13.
“I wanted to just shoot it and not think about the shot,” said Dudley, who scored all 12 of his points from 3-point range.
But the Hornets’ physical play halted their momentum.
After their strong second-quarter start, the Hornets committed a foul on half of Lynden’s offensive possessions, putting White River over the limit with 5:15 left in the half.
Lynden went 9 of 14 from the free-throw line to stay in the lead.
“We didn’t have time to prep for this group,” Tripp said. “We played the No. 1 team in the state ... you got to be prepared (for them).”
The early foul trouble forced the Hornets to back off the Lions and play softer defense in the second half. It gave Hastings and teammate Sterling Somers the space to take over the game. Somers went 3 of 5 from the field but finished with 20 points.
“You got to bring your best every single night. Everyone’s got to contribute,” Dudley said. “(Lynden’s) the No. 1 team in the state, so it’s something to build off of.”