Ask Lindsey Nurmi for her favorite memory of playing basketball at Black Hills High School and the senior point guard doesn’t have to think back too far.
“Right now,” she said, surrounded by celebrating teammates and Wolves fans after Black Hills pulled off one of its patented second-half comebacks to defeat Lynden, 51-47, Saturday morning at the Yakima Valley SunDome and claimed fourth place in the Class 2A state tournament.
It’s the Wolves highest finish in 2A, though they claimed second and third place trophies while a 3A school.
Nurmi ended her high school career scoring 18 points, grabbing 7 rebounds and 5 steals.
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“It’s been amazing year,” she said. “I wouldn’t want to have it end any other way. Going to state every year with my team has been so much fun, I love it here.”
Black Hills coach Tanya Greenfield now faces life without a Nurmi for the first time in eight years after first coaching Lindsey’s older sister Nicole.
“Lindsey’s a hard one to let go,” Greenfield said. “She’s such a big part of our program. She’s pushes the other kids, she’s the one in the gym who gets everyone going. She’s been an amazing player to coach.”
Against Lynden, as so often has happened this season, the Wolves got off to a sluggish start, falling behind by as many as 11 in the first quarter. Lions guard Keylie Hershey had scored 11 of her team-high 18 points moments into the second quarter.
Baskets by back-up post players Alexa Bovenkamp and Natalie Serhan just before halftime enabled the Wolves to go into the locker room trailing by just six.
“We knew we had to bring a little more pressure, sometimes that gets us some fast break lay-ins,” Greenfield said. “We knew we had to get out on their shooters. These are games where it’s all or nothing and they responded well to that.”
The Wolves outscored Lynden, 19-3, in the third quarter and fended off the Lions’ last-ditch efforts late.
“I don’t know what it is. We’re a second half team,” said Greenfield. “That’s just how they do it.”
Black Hills went into the fourth quarter leading by 10, but Lynden cut the Wolves advantage to 48-46 on a pair of Hershey free throws. The Lions then fouled Maisy Williams — who nearly had a double-double with 14 points and 9 rebounds.
Williams missed both shots but made perhaps the decisive play of the game, tracking down her own long rebound on the second, enabling the Wolves to regain possession and go back up by four on a pair of Megan River free throws.
This season, the Wolves played with just one senior, Nurmi. Next season, Williams will lead a contingent of seven seniors.
“It’s a group that’s played together since elementary school, I’m going to rely on that corps,” said Greenfield.
Black Hills1113198- 51
L – Tjoelker 8, Smith 9, Keylie Hershey 18, VanderHaak 5, Amos 5, Holman, VanderYacht, George, Baar 2, Canales, Holleman, Bonsen.
BH – Williams 14, River 5, Bender 2, Nurmi 18, Greenfield 3, S.Lee, Zeldenrust, Sayahod 3, Serhan 3, Bovenkamp 4.