This past Friday night's game with Riverside Christian was intense.
"The rivalry generates that intensity," said Sunnyside Christian Coach Dean Wagenaar.
Luckily for the defending State B champion Knights, his team came out on the winning end of that intense rivalry, pulling out a 47-44 victory.
The win at home Friday gave the Knights a victory in their first league game of the season.
Chad Den Boer led the Knights with 20 points and nine rebounds.
Aaron Van de Graaf also was in double-digits with 10 points.
Brandon De Vries accounted for eight points, Matt Haak had seven and Joel Koopmans rounded out the scoring with two.
Wagenaar said big shots by the Crusaders let the visitors stay in the game. A buzzer-beater at the end of the first half brought the Knights' lead down to five, and a three pointer to close out the third quarter gave Riverside Christian their first lead of the night at 39-38.
"That, I think, emotionally let them back into the game," Wagenaar said.
But Sunnyside Christian wasn't ready to give up the win that easily.
Wagenaar said his team played within themselves and withstood the pressure.
"I thought overall the kids played well," Wagenaar said.
A 9-5 fourth quarter was all the Knights would need to close out the game with a victory.
Saturday night, the Knights travelled to Lyle for their second league game.
Despite a 9-8 first quarter lead by Lyle, the game wouldn't be close for long.
"Our shots were all on the rim, but they weren't going down," Wagenaar said.
An 18-8 Knights' second quarter, followed by a 30-4 third quarter put the game out of reach for the Cougars.
Four straight steals, combined with easy buckets led to a 28-2 run to begin the third for Sunnyside Christian.
"The kids were just rolling," Wagenaar said.
Den Boer again led the team in scoring with 31 points. He also grabbed nine rebounds.
Van de Graaf had 10 points for the Knights.
The Knights ended the night with a 65-27 victory, their second league victory in as many days.
Wagenaar said the win gives his team momentum going into the Christmas break.
At 5-1 overall and 2-0 in league play, the Knights don't hit the court again until Dec. 29, when they travel to the two-day Shoreline Tournament on the west side.
Wagenaar said his team is looking good after two league wins.
"We're rolling a little bit," Wagenaar said.
RSCH 7 15 17 5 - 44
SCHS 13 14 11 9 - 47
SCHS : Den Boer 20, Haak 7, Van de Graaf 10, Koopmans 2, De Vries 8,
SCHS 8 18 30 9 - 65
Lyle 9 8 4 6 - 27
SCHS : Den Boer 31, Haak 7, Van de Graaf 10, Koopmans 3, DeJong 2, Bosma 4.