HILLSBORO, Ore. — Curt DeHaan left quite a trail in 34 seasons as the girls basketball coach at Lynden Christian.
He won 10 state titles.
Needless to say, he isn’t fond of losing.
So the coach, who called it quits after the Lyncs’ 10th title in March, got one final crack at a win — at the 20th Northwest Shootout, the annual Washington-Oregon border basketball war.
So what did DeHaan cook up? He surprised everyone by getting the Washington girls to play unrelenting, disruptive defense in an all-star game.
They forced 27 turnovers — 17 of which were steals. They blocked nine shots. And they won the game, 96-84, at Liberty High School on Saturday afternoon.
“The girls did a good job applying pressure,” said DeHaan, who coached in the Shootout for the first time. “A key was that we forced a few more turnovers than they did.”
Brewster’s Chandler Smith, the game’s most valuable player, tallied 14 of her 18 points in the first half, including four 3-pointers. Her last one gave Washington a 43-29 lead at the 5:10 mark of the first half.
But it was the Washington post players — Megan Huff (Beamer), Marijk Vanderschaff (Eastlake), Mariah Cunningham (Central Valley) and especially Nike McClure (W.F. West) — who really made sure Oregon had one-and-done possessions.
“They had more size,” Oregon coach Luke Roth said. “We tried to pull them outside and attack. In the first half, everything they put up, it went in.”
McClure, a Washington State University signee who lead the Bearcats to the Class 2A title in March, had 14 points, 15 rebounds and four blocked shots.
“At first, I felt like I was the underdog because I was the only 2A kid here,” McClure said. “But I got on the court … with the rest of these girls, and thought, ‘I am here, so I must be something special.’ I thought I played pretty well.”
Oregon boys 127, Washington 112: For the exciting portions of the game, it became a one-on-one battle between WSU and Gonzaga.
Silas Melson came out on top.
The talented guard from Jefferson High School tallied a game-high 40 points, and the Oregon squad won for a second consecutive year.
Melson, a Gonzaga signee, and Tramaine Isabell, who earlier this week reaffirmed his pledge to WSU, went right at each other. Isabell finished with 21 points.
Bogdan Bliznyuk, The News Tribune’s All-Area player of the year from Todd Beamer High School, led Washington with 29 points on 11-of-23 shooting. He also had 11 rebounds.Todd Milles: 253-597-8442 firstname.lastname@example.org @ManyHatsMilles