You can't say the Sunnyside Christian High School girls basketball team didn't have its chances down the stretch to knock off the visiting Kiona-Benton Bears this past Saturday.
In a nip-and-tuck non-league affair where there were numerous lead changes, the Class 2A Bears escaped Sunnyside with a hard fought 54-50 win.
"We had our chances," said SCHS Coach Al Smeenk. "It was a chess match all night."
Sunnyside Christian was only trailing by one with 18 seconds remaining, but an opportunity to pass Ki-Be went by the wayside when two free throws by a Lady Knight missed the mark. The Bears were still clinging to a one-point lead with just five ticks left on the clock, but the Lady Knights again were off the mark when they attempted a desperation long range 2-pointer. Ki-Be hit four free throws in the final 15 seconds to keep Sunnyside Christian at bay.
"It was anybody's game," said Smeenk.
The narrow defeat was Sunnyside Christian's third of the season in as many outings.
Ki-Be had two players who stood out from the pack. Cori Upton led all scorers in the game with 19 points. Sabanero added a 13-point effort for the Bears.
For the Lady Knights, two players were in double figures in the scoring column. Tyssyna Van Wingerden popped in a team high 14 points and Emma Hernandez chipped in 12. Van Wingerden also had a team high eight rebounds in the game.
Smeenk said the biggest downfall of his club Saturday night was its performance from the free throw line. The Lady Knights only connected on 10-of-24 from the foul line, compared to a 12-for-21 effort from the Bears. Smeenk also added that his team, at times, is too content with shooting from the outside.
Sunnyside Christian (0-3) is scheduled to host Granger tomorrow (Tuesday) and will travel to Riverside Christian this coming Friday.
Kiona-Benton 15 11 12 16 -54
Sunnyside Christian 10 10 14 16 -50
Kiona-Benton-Linehan 5, West 7, Sabanero 13, Upton 19, butler 2, Hamilton 6, Allen 2.
Sunnyside Christian-T. Van Wingerden 3, DeGroot 8, Rice 4, Ty. Van Wingerden 14, Roberts 6, Hernandez 12, Mensonides 3.