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Never out of place, Lynden boys roll past Pullman to another WIAA Class 2A basketball crown

Dawson Adams was a long-range shotmaking machine for the Lions, sharing game-high scoring honors with tournament MVP teammate Anthony Canales (15 points)

YAKIMA – For Lynden senior Dawson Adams it was another ho-hum day at the office – guard the opponent’s center, knock down a handful of shots.

But when that big buy is Pullman’s Garrison Hunt, who was coming off a 22-point, 22-rebound semifinal performance, and those few shots sparked a stagnate offense toward a championship, it takes on a little more significance.

Even if it’s just his routine.

Adams matched teammate and tournament MVP Anthony Canales for team-high honors with 15 points and keyed a defensive effort that stifled the Greyhounds in a 51-34 victory in the Class 2A championship Saturday afternoon in the Yakima Valley SunDome.

It’s the Lions 11th state championship and third in the past four tournaments.

"I’ve had to guard the big guy all year and he’s one of the best I’ve had to guard, so I just decided to do what I could do to limit him," said Adams, who added a game-best 10 rebounds despite giving more than a half a foot to Hunt. "And I knew coming into this game that this was my last game and I told myself that if I’m open, I was gonna let it fly because that’s what I’ve done all year and I just happened to hit a few shots."

Those few were four 3-pointers – two in a sluggish first half for both teams and two to start the second half when Lynden was able to distance itself after leading 20-16 at the break.

"That’s what he’s done all year, he’s a 2-guard playing center for us," Lions coach Brian Roper said. "He’s a stretch-5. I’ve never heard of that."

Canales, a sophomore, is the youngster in the lineup but the SunDome is nothing new to him. He was there in 2018 and ’19 when the Lions added titles nine and 10.

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This time, however, he had a starring role rather than one of support, and averaged 21 points in the three Lynden victories.

"Growing up as a little kid after coming here for the back-to-back championships, it’s been amazing," he said. "To live out one of my dreams – it’s really special."

Lions senior Jordan Medcalf, the reigning Northwest Conference player of the year who fed Canales for the game-winning layup in Friday’s semifinal, was his normal steady self, scoring 13 points, snaring six rebounds and assisting on seven baskets.

"For me as a coach in the moment, I’m not thinking about gold balls or things like that," Roper said. "I’m thinking about how our kids played with unbelievable effort for 32 minutes on the defensive end to hold a team like that to 34 points,” Roper said. “I’m just in awe of our kids’ effort"

The Lions finished the season 22-2.

Pullman’s misfires came after a semifinal in which it scored 26 points in the fourth quarter in knocking off defending champion North Kitsap. The Greyhounds managed just 25 points through three quarters Friday.

"Making shots was difficult for us today and we didn’t shoot it good from 2s or 3s," Pullman coach Craig Brantner said.

Hunt had a solid game, scoring 10 points on 5-for-10 shooting while also pulling down eight rebounds. His teammates, though, were a collective 6 of 32 from the field.

The Greyhounds finished the season 23-3, advancing to the title tilt for the first time since the second of back-to-back championships in 2014.

"Probably nobody thought we could be in the championship game this year," Brantner said. "I was just very happy with how our kids did it. I think we earned a little more respect throughout this tournament."