SPOKANE - The Sunnyside Christian Knights moved one step closer to a 1B State title yesterday (Thursday) with a 62-23 win against the Lummi Blackhawks in State tourney play.
The win advances the Knights to tonight's semi-final game against Almira Coulee Hartline High School at 7:15 p.m.
The game promises to be a huge match-up. Sunnyside Christian beat ACH in last year's State quarter-finals on a buzzer beating shot that gave the Knights a two-point win.
In last night's contest it was basically over at halftime, when SCHS led 31-13.
Sunnyside Christian Coach Dean Wagenaar said the Blackhawks tried to press his team but the Knights ran right through it. Lummi then switched to a tight zone, which kept SCHS honest but failed to stop them.
"We did a great job defensively," Wagenaar said. "That really set the tone. Offensively, we executed well enough to get it done."
Lummi wanted to push the ball but the Knights' defense stopped the Blackhawks' penetration repeatedly. When going inside proved to be difficult, Lummi would kick the ball outside, but Sunnyside Christian's guards smothered any attempt at an outside shot.
"They (Lummi) couldn't get any clean looks at their 3's," Wagenaar added.
The Knights built a quick lead in the first quarter, jumping out ahead 16-5. Ryker Van Belle hit two 3-pt shots in the first quarter to give the Knights a boost. In the second period, Trevor Wagenaar got hot, scoring nine of his first-half 11 points that period. At the end of the second quarter the Knights went on a spurt to lead 31-13.
The Knights then went on a 17-4 run in the third quarter and the game was over.
"The kids were well prepared," Wagenaar said. "They did what they needed to do."
Sunnyside Christian owned the boards in last night's game. The Knights grabbed 42 rebounds, 12 of which were offensive, to just 18 for the Blackhawks. SCHS shot 29-for-58 from the field, including going 4-of-14 from the 3-point line. Lummi was just 9-for-44, including 0-for-16 from beyond the 3-point arc.
In Wagenaar said might have been a first, the Knights didn't shoot one free throw in the contest.
"They (Lummi) played a very clean game," he said.
Sunnyside Christian was led by Steven Broersma with 17 points and nine rebounds. Trevor Wagenaar followed that up with 15 points of his own, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Van Belle added 12 points. Kevin DeJong had six points and nine rebounds. Alex Broersma had four points for the Knights and Steven Bosma, Matt Moore, Brandon Broersma and Ryan Burton each scored two points.
The Blackhawks were led by Tony Rivera, who scored nine points for Lummi.
Sunnyside Christian is now 23-2.