Continuing its non-league schedule against bigger 2B schools, the Sunnyside Christian High School boys basketball team absorbed its fourth straight loss to start the season last night, losing a tightly contested game against the LaSalle Lightning.
The Lightning squeaked out a 63-60 win against the Knights when an SCHS three-point shot attempt rimmed out of the basket as time expired.
"It was a tight game the whole way," SCHS Coach Dean Wagenaar said. "No one was up by more than five points in the game."
Both teams played to a 14-14 draw after one quarter but the Knights provided themselves a four-point cushion at halftime, leading 32-28. After a slight hiccup by the Knights in the third quarter the Lightning led by one point, 42-41, to start the fourth and final quarter.
LaSalle built up a three-point lead down the stretch in the fourth period before the Knights cut it to one point with just 33 seconds left. Unfortunately, that was when SCHS committed one of its 27 turnovers, which LaSalle quickly snatched up, causing the Knights to foul.
A Lightning player hit 1-of-2 free throws to give LaSalle a 62-60 lead. The Knights then came down the floor and an SCHS player was fouled, sending the Knight to the free throw line. After missing twice the Knights fouled a LaSalle player on the rebound attempt, sending LaSalle back to the line.
This increased the Lightning's lead to three points. The Knights set up a play, drove down court, put up a three-point shot and then watched it hit the rim.
Both teams pressed most of the game, Wagenaar said.
"We tried to get a faster game to see if we could improve in that style of game," Wagenaar added.
Although Wagenaar said he doesn't know if his team will continue with that style of play he did say there were some positives.
"We scored more points, and got a lot more of the kids involved," he added. "On the negative side we had too many turnovers."
One problem the Knights had last night was shooting free throws. SCHS went 10-for-22 from the line. Wagenaar said the Knights are historically a good free throw shooting team but this current team is inexperienced, adding the Knights need to learn to play offensive basketball.
"This means we need to cut down on the turnovers and start making our free throws," Wagenaar explained.
The Lightning was able to outboard the Knights, 28 to 24. SCHS shot 22-for-39 from the floor, including 2-for-11 from behind the three-point arc. LaSalle was 24-for-42 and 2-for-12 from the three-point line.
The Lightning were led by Jake DeGoyer with 17 points. His teammate, Ryan Kilseimer, finished with 13.
Steven Broersma led the Knights with 33 points and five rebounds. Danny Van Boven added nine points for the Knights. He also had six rebounds and 12 assists. Matt Crabtree contributed eight points to the Knights' total and Jordan Vogel had five points.
SCHS will play a similar-sized 1B team for the first time this season when the Knights travel to Wellpinit High School this Friday, Dec. 19, for a 6 p.m. game.