The Sunnyside Christian Knights did something this past Friday night they hadn't done in two previous attempts - beat Riverside Christian at the Crusaders' home gym. The Knights beat Riverside Christian 37-26.
Chad Den Boer led the way for the Knights, scoring a game-high 21 points in a high-intensity game.
"We know each other so well," said Knights' Coach Dean Wagenaar of the Riverside rivalry. "Fortunately we were able to get a lead late in the game."
After a low-scoring first quarter that left the game tied at 6, the Knights came out of the gates running in the second quarter, outscoring the Crusaders 13-5 to take a 19-11 lead into the lockerroom at intermission.
But the third quarter wouldn't prove to be as good for the Knights on the scoreboard. The Crusaders outscored Sunnyside Christian 11-5 to claw their way back into a close game.
"We came out in the third quarter and didn't value the ball," Wagenaar said.
Trevor Pynch led the Crusaders in the scoring column, dropping in 15 points, while trying to keep his team in the close game.
Good free throw shooting down the stretch proved to be the key to the Knights' victory.
Sunnyside Christian hit 15-of-19 free throws in the game, and Den Boer contributed in a big way.
The senior hit 11-of-12 from the line, including 6-of-6 in the final two minutes to seal the victory for the Knights.
Den Boer's point total also put him in second place on the Sunnyside Christian all-time leading scorer list. Den Boer had 1,307 career points going into the game. His 21 points put him past Tom White, who scored 1,309 career points at Sunnyside Christian.
Sunnyside Christian put up just 28 shots from the field, and connected on 11-of-20 from inside the arc, going 0-of-8 from behind the three-point line.
Den Boer also grabbed 10 rebounds in the win to complete a double-double. He also blocked three shots.
The Crusaders put up just 31 shots in the low scoring affair.
Riverside Christian's loss marks just their third loss in four years in their new gym. Last season the Crusaders gave Sunnyside Christian its only loss, in a game played in Yakima.
The Knights then played Trout Lake-Glenwood Saturday night and cruised to an easy 73-38 win to improve to 9-1 in Greater Columbia B League play and 15-2 overall.
Den Boer increased his career point total by dropping in a game-high 31 points and again collecting 10 rebounds.
Brandon De Vries had a big night on the glass for the Knights, grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds.
"Everybody got to play," Wagenaar said.
The Knights shot well from the free-throw line again, going 17-of-18 from the charity stripe.
"And we played very good defense," Wagenaar said.
Aaron Van de Graaf had 12 points for the Knights, while Joel Koopmans scored 11.
Trout Lake-Glenwood was led by Justin Holly, who scored 22 points in his team's loss.
Sunnyside Christian hosts Moses Lake Christian in a non-league game Tuesday night. The game starts at 6 p.m.