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Fast start helps Granger to win over Knights

GRANGER - The Spartans outscored Sunnyside Christian 21-8 in the first quarter to open a lead that would be too much for the defending State B champion Knights to overcome as they fell 57-45 Tuesday night.

The loss brings their season record to 3-1.

Knights' senior Chad Den Boer had all of his team's eight first-quarter points en route to a team-high 27.

The loss marks the first for Sunnyside Christian in about a year, since losing to Riverside Christian last December. Knights' Coach Dean Wagenaar said his team was a little bit stunned by its sloppy play, which led to the loss.

"They're off to a great start," said Wagenaar of Granger's season.

The Spartans shot lights-out in the first quarter, and the Knights got a little complacent, Wagenaar said.

"When you get down by 13 in the first quarter, it's an uphill battle," he said.

Wagenaar said his team needed to settle down and play more patiently, but that didn't happen.

"In the first quarter we weren't patient," he said.

He also said his team was just plain out-hustled on the floor.

The Spartans also connected on seven 3-point attempts, several of which came in the first half.

"They had some beautiful 3-point shots," Wagenaar said, noting as a visiting coach it's not fun to watch the home team put up good shots.

His team also gave up too many offensive rebounds, he said. The Spartans pulled down 14 offensive boards which led to easy lay-ups and second-chance points, Wagenaar said.

He said his team needs to work on boxing out more and not allowing those offensive rebounds.

Sunnyside Christian also turned the ball over 13 times, which didn't help their cause.

The 1A Spartans also concentrated a lot on defending Den Boer, and the rest of the team didn't step up to pick up the slack.

Sophomore Joel Koopmans was the second leading scorer for the Knights with nine points. He also grabbed eight rebounds.

Aaron Van de Graaf dropped in six points in the losing cause. Matt Haak with two points, and Nick DeJong with one point rounded out the scoring.

Granger's Edward Castro led his team's scoring, dropping in 20 points.

Wagenaar said the loss will help his team evaluate itself before his players open league play against Riverside Christian this Friday.

"Anytime you lose, you evaluate more," he said.

Fortunately, he said most people don't focus as much on early season play as they do late-season play.

"Most people don't remember how you play in December," he said.

After the Knights host Riverside Christian on Friday, they travel to Lyle Saturday for another league matchup.

SCHS 8 10 16 11 - 45

Granger 21 13 14 9 - 57

SCHS : Den Boer 27, Haak 2, Van de Graaf 6, Koopmans 9, DeJong 1,

Granger: Castro 20.

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