TOUCHET - Despite having a let-down in the fourth quarter the Sunnyside Christian Knights used a large lead to absorb a Touchet comeback to beat the Indians 62-49 in a non-league matchup last night (Wednesday) in Touchet.
"In the middle two quarters we played really well," SCHS Coach Dean Wagenaar said. "But with four and half minutes left in the fourth we started turning the ball over and Touchet started getting real physical."
Steven Broersma scored all 10 of the Knights' points in the first quarter. Wagenaar said the Indians were using a spread zone defense to stifle Sunnyside but the Knights started feeding the ball inside to Broersma, who scored easily from usually two feet away from the bucket.
"Once we went over the top they had to tighten things up," Wagenaar said.
This opened the outside to Sunnyside Christian's shooters, who took advantage of it.
The Knights put up 24 points in the second quarter and led 34-18 at halftime. Sunnyside's defense got even stingier in the third period, limiting Touchet to just six points while scoring 17 of them own. SCHS led 51-24 to start the fourth.
The Knights and Indians went back and forth in the final stanza until the four and a half minute mark. That's when Touchet made a run thanks to eight SCHS turnovers. Touchet outscored the Knights 25-11 in the final period but SCHS was able to absorb the blows thanks to a 27-point lead the Knights had to start the fourth.
"We've got do to a better job," Wagenaar said. "The game got a little physical and we went south. We certainly have moments where we can improve."
The Knights shot 22-for-42 from the field and were 3-of-6 from the 3-point mark. SCHS grabbed 38 rebounds to Touchet's 20, but had 20 turnovers in the game compared with just 13 for the Indians. The Knights made nine free throws out of 12 attempts.
SCHS was led by Kevin DeJong with 15 points and nine rebounds. Broersma finished the game with 14 points, 14 rebounds and two blocked shots. Trevor Wagenaar had 12 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals for the Knights. Brandon Broersma finished with eight points, three blocks and three rebounds. Alex Brouwer added seven points and Ryker Van Belle contributed six points, five rebounds and five assists.
Touchet had three players finish the game in double figures. Matt Kats scored 16 points for the Indians, Jake Hodenfield added 12 points and Vicente Flures had 10 points.
Wagenaar pointed out the Knights' play in the second and third quarters, saying his team made some excellent passes and moved the ball well.
"At times we're very athletic," he said.
Defensively, Wagenaar said the Knights are communicating with each other much better than they were earlier in the season. Still, Wagenaar said, the Knights need to do a better job of closing games out.
SCHS (6-2) has now won four straight games and are off until Friday, Jan. 7, when the Knights host Klickitat at 7:30 p.m. to open up league play.