It was the kind of game basketball fans live for. Sunnyside Christian High School, the No. 2 team in the 1B ranks, and White Swan, the No. 2 team in the 2B ranks, put on a show for a packed SCHS gym.
"It was an intense game," SCHS Coach Dean Wagenaar said of his team's 54-43 win against the Cougars. "White Swan is so quick. We had to control the pace of the game. We did that for the most part."
The first quarter was neck and neck until Sunnyside Christian was able to score five points in the last 50 seconds to take a 17-12 lead.
After that, using its height advantage to counter the speed of White Swan, the Knights maintained a five to eight point lead throughout the game.
Leading 31-25 at halftime, Wagenaar said his team didn't come out very prepared in the second half.
"We were tired," he said. "It was an intense first half."
The Knights were able to contain White Swan's penetration and speed and started to dump the ball inside. The Knights might have been tired in the second half, but they still managed to stay one step ahead of the Cougars. SCHS outscored White Swan 23-18 in the second half.
Kevin DeJong led the Knights with 17 points and nine rebounds. DeJong was 7-for-7 from the field. Trevor Wagenaar added 13 points and grabbed six rebounds. Steven Broersma had eight points and 14 rebounds. Brandon Broersma added seven points and Ryker Van Belle had six points and five rebounds.
White Swan was led by Lawrence Fiander with 14 points, Nathan Mesplie with 12 points and Alex Sampson with 10 points.
Wagenaar said this game was a good barometer for his team.
"It lets us know where we're at," he said. "The kids played really hard. It was a good win for us."
SCHS (12-2) will play Yakama Tribal on Friday, Jan. 28, in Toppenish.
- Corey Russell can be contacted
at 509-837-4500, or email