SHORELINE - Seniors Chad Den Boer and Matt Haak, along with junior Aaron Van de Graaf, lit up the scoreboard for a combined 40 points yesterday at the Shoreline Invitational.
That power surge was more than enough to carry the Sunnyside Christian High School boys basketball team to a 56-31 victory over Evergreen Lutheran.
Thursday's win propels Sunnyside Christian into today's tournament championship contest against host Shoreline Christian, which demolished Clallam Bay in its tourney opener.
"We're going to have to be disciplined," SCHS Coach Dean Wagenaar said of his team's chances in Friday's title game. "Shoreline is a fast-paced team that plays in-your-face basketball.
"One of the things I like, though, is that we match up pretty well with them," Wagenaar added.
Yesterday's match-ups all went Sunnyside Christian's way. The Knights limited Evergreen Lutheran to just two points in the opening quarter enroute to building a 21-12 halftime lead. Any chance for an Eagles' comeback went by the wayside in the third quarter, as Sunnyside Christian posted a 19-7 scoring advantage that period. The Knights closed out the game with a 16-12 run in the final stanza, even though Wagenaar substituted freely down the stretch.
Den Boer had the hot hand for Sunnyside Christian, popping in a game high 19 points. The 6'3" senior also had a game high 10 rebounds to lead the Knights to a 31 to 18 advantage on the boards.
Haak, in addition to throwing down 10 points for the Knights, contributed five steals and dished three assists.
Sophomore Joel Koopmans also posted some nifty numbers for Sunnyside Christian. Besides the 6 points he netted, Koopmans snared six rebounds and had a team high four assists.
As a team, the Knights shot 50 percent from the field (23-for-46), going 5-of-11 from 3-point land.
In holding Evergreen Lutheran to just 31 points in the game, the Knights played a straight man-to-man defense. "We also put on a little bit of a press," said Wagenaar.
Prior to the game, Wagenaar's crew also identified 6'2" sophomore Daniel Kurbis as their main threat.
"The Kurbis kid is an athlete," said Wagenaar. "He's strong and he's a leaper. We knew we had to contain him."
Kurbis ended up getting into early foul trouble and sat for much of the first half. He finished with just 6 points to share team high scoring honors with Jeremy Strong and Andrew Bubeler.
Even though the Knights posted a lopsided victory against Evergreen Lutheran, Wagenaar said the Eagles deserve their due.
"They have a reputation for being very aggressive," he said. "And they were yesterday. It got pretty rough there for awhile.
"But you have to give Evergreen credit. They played hard, especially on defense. They made us work for our 56 points," Wagenaar said.
Evergreen Luth. 2 10 7 12 -31
Sunnyside Christ. 9 12 19 16 -56
Sunnyside Christian: Koopmans 6, Van Oostrum 0, C. Van de Graaf 2, Bosma 0, Haak 10, Brouwer 5, Burgers 0, A. Van de Graaf 11, Den Boer 19, De Vries 1, Meininger 0, De Jong 1, Buescher 1.