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Lady Knights shoot past Naches Valley in 2011-12 hoop opener

In its first regular season game of the 2011-12 campaign, the Sunnyside Christian Lady Knight basketball team took care of business in a 57-23 win at home over Naches Valley.

Sunnyside Christian took control from the outset with a 15-2 first quarter run.

Up 25-8 at the half, the Lady Knights then sealed the win with a 32-15 scoring outburst in the second half.

"For the first game I was pleased, they're good kids and they work hard," Sunnyside Christian Coach Al Smeenk said of his players.

He was pleased with his squad's half court man-to-man defense, and the way his guards pushed the ball inside.

"One of the key things we're working on is having our guards penetrate, driving to the hoop," Smeenk said. Alyssa Haak helped drive the Sunnyside Christian attack with three assists and three steals to go with six points.

In a complete victory, the Lady Knights also dominated in the paint with a 35-to-18 rebounding advantage over the visiting Rangers.

Sunnyside Christian was sparked by Stormee Van Belle and Maddy Wavrin with 17 and 11 points, respectively. The two players outrebounded the entire Naches squad, as Van Belle gathered 11 rebounds and Wavrin climbed the ladder for 10 caroms.

"Any time you can score a double-double you're doing well," Smeenk said of Wavrin and Van Belle.

All of Sunnyside Christian's players clocked some minutes during the contest, including a couple of JV players.

Smeenk says that experience will be helpful.

"Our challenge is going to be taking care of the ball a little bit better," he said.

That experience will also come in handy as the Lady Knights face a pair of tough tests, playing at Riverside Christian this coming Friday and hosting Mabton on Saturday.

"By the end of the week we'll know what kind of team we are," Smeenk said.

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