SEATTLE - Sunnyside Christian abandoned its zone defense yesterday and switched back to man-coverage in the fourth quarter. The end result was a 49-46 victory over Bellevue Christian in the opening round of a holiday hoop tournament hosted by Shoreline Christian High School.
"We came out in a zone in the third quarter," said Sunnyside Christian Coach Al Smeenk, explaining early season non-league games are the time to test different strategies. "But they slid the ball to a couple of open girls on the perimeter and hit a couple of 3's against us."
Coupled with 4-for-4 free throw shooting during that stretch, Bellevue Christian fought back from a 22-17 halftime deficit and forged a 37-35 lead.
Smeenk opted to switch the defensive coverage to man in the fourth quarter, and his Lady Knight basketball team scraped its way back into the contest, eventually outscoring the Vikings by a 14-9 margin down the stretch.
The win for the 1B Lady Knights was satisfying, considering Bellevue Christian is a class 1A team, and just two years ago the Vikings were playing in the 1A State title game.
Bellevue Christian got double-digit scoring from two girls yesterday...Rebecca King with 13 points and Michelle Teng with 10.
Sunnyside Christian (0-0, 3-1) was led in the scoring column by Melanie Van Wingerden and Emma Newhouse with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Those two girls also led the Lady Knights on the boards, snaring a combined 21 rebounds to lead Sunnyside Christian to a 34 to 24 advantage in caroms nabbed.
In addition to the combined 23 points of Van Wingerden and Newhouse, Sunnyside Christian got seven and six points from Hilari Bosma and Joleen Van Wingerden, respectively. Also scoring for the winners were Julie Long with five points, Andrea Schutt with four and Renee Dalrymple with two points.
Thursday's win vaults the Lady Knights into tonight's tourney title game against 2B Shoreline Christian. The host Shoreline club earned fifth place honors at last season's 2B State tournament.