The Sunnyside Christian girls basketball team defeated Klickitat 71-20 last Friday in the first round of Districts at Sunnyside High School. The Lady Knights carried the momentum into Saturday's game against Trout Lake/Glenwood and won 55-28.
Klickitat, said Lady Knights Coach Al Smeenk, was seeded at Districts as No. 4 in a three-way tie with Bickleton and Trout Lake/Glenwood for second place in the Greater Columbia 1B League.
"This was a game everyone played and scored in," Smeenk said of the game.
His team, league champs this year with a perfect 8-0 record, took an aggressive stance against the Vandals with a full-court press to open the game.
"We generally played very well against one of the better teams in the league," said Smeenk, stating his team gained control of the Vandals and went into the half ahead 40-12.
The Lady Knights continued to pressure Klickitat, although many of the starters were on the bench in the second half.
Sunnyside Christian held the Vandals to six and two points in the third and fourth quarters, respectively.
Makaela Duim led the Lady Knights from the glass with eight rebounds. She scored four points against Klickitat.
Teammate Analisa Van Oostrum played only the opening half, but scored a team-high 13 points.
Marissa Broersma of Sunnyside Christian stole the ball from Klickitat six times and scored 11 points, Kelly Newhouse scored 10 points, and Julie Long scored nine points.
The Lady Knights were 12-for-20 from the free throw line, managed 22 steals and had 16 turnovers against the Vandals.
The win Friday secured a berth at State for Sunnyside Christian, who moved into Saturday's game against Trout Lake/Glenwood with optimism.
"(The Mustangs) have a couple of great athletes, who play a good defense," Smeenk said, stating he didn't feel overly confident.
"Anything can happen in a game," he explained, sharing his team had to remain focused.
"We took a little while to get going," Smeenk continued.
His team opened the game with a 15-8 lead and ended the first half up 28-19.
Both teams, Smeenk said, worked hard and the game was important for Sunnyside Christian, as well as Trout Lake/Glenwood.
The third quarter was more of a battle, with the Lady Knights only scoring three more points than the Mustangs.
"We had a game plan and the girls followed it very well...we were successful," Smeenk said.
His team outscored Trout Lake/Glenwood 19-4 in the final quarter for the 55-28 win.
"What's unique about the game is our one player who didn't make the all opponent team led us ...that was Renee Dalrymple," Smeenk shared.
Dalrymple scored 15 points and grabbed the ball from the glass 13 times against the Mustangs.
Teammate Kelly Newhouse tallied 12 points and Analisa Van Oostrum scored seven.
Tomorrow (Tuesday) Trout Lake/Glenwood will face Bickleton at White Salmon. The winner of that game will play Sunnyside Christian this coming Friday at Mabton High School at 6 p.m.
If Sunnyside Christian wins, said Smeenk, they will have earned the District championship.
If the Lady Knights (8-0, 17-4) lose Friday, they will move on to a Saturday game against the same team to determine seeding at State.