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Knights shoot lights out from beyond the three-point line

The Sunnyside Christian High School boys basketball team was hot from beyond the arc this past Friday night as the Knights (1-0) blew out Liberty Christian (0-1) 67-32.

Senior Matt Haak connected on 6-of-10 attempts from behind the three-point line, scoring 18 for Sunnyside Christian, the defending State B champs.

Junior Andrew Van de Graaf hit on three of his six attempts from behind the arc, and sophomore Joel Koopmans added two more threes on three attempts.

Despite the lopsided score, Liberty Christian made it a close game in the first half. The Knights clung to a 21-18 lead before going on a 13-0 run to close out the first half.

Knight's Coach Dean Wagenaar credited good ball rotation against a tight 2-3 zone for opening up some good looks from three-point range.

"We shot really well," Wagenaar said.

Liberty Christian's height inside is what caused the Knights to look to the outside for their shots.

"Chad (Den Boer) had to work really hard for his points around the basket," Wagenaar said.

Den Boer led the scoring for the Knights, dropping in 19 points. He complemented his point total, putting up a double-double by corralling 11 boards in addition to his points.

Van de Graaf added 13 to the score column for the Knights, and Koopmans was in double-digits also, with 10 points.

Haak dished out seven assists and Koopmans added six to the Knights' effort.

On the defensive side of the ball, Haak swiped four steals in the outing against Liberty Christian.

Wagenaar said his team controlled the ball well. With about five minutes left in the fourth quarter, his team had only turned the ball over four times.

"I thought for an opening game, it was a pretty good performance," Wagenaar said. "We have some pretty high expectations."

They also have a winning tradition at home to uphold.

Wagenaar said he went and looked at past season records to see just how good the Knights have been at home.

Since the 1997-1998 season, Sunnyside Christian has only dropped four home games.

Only one of those games was a league game, he said.

The Knights don't have much time to rest after the lopsided victory. They host a Kittitas (1-1) team that's much improved over last season, Wagenaar said.

He said there are things his team needs to work on.

"There are some things we can do better," Wagenaar said. "I think we got off to a good start."

LC 6 12 8 6 -32

SCHS 14 20 16 17 -67

SCHS : Den Boer 19, Haak 18, Van de Graaf 13, Koopmans 10, Nick DeJong 4, Lucas Brouwer 3.

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