WALLA WALLA - A strong second quarter was just what the 1B Sunnyside Christian Lady Knight basketball team needed in a 41-32 win at 2B DeSales last night.
"They're a good team, it's a dog fight every time we walk in that gym," Sunnyside Christian Coach Al Smeenk said of tussling with the Irish.
DeSales opened with a slight edge Tuesday night, leading 8-6 after one quarter. Sunnyside Christian answered by taking the lead for good in the second stanza with a 16-6 run.
"We got our offense going a little bit in the second quarter," Smeenk said.
Smeenk noted the Lady Knights used their size advantage in the paint. Twelve of the team's second quarter points came from in the paint, as post players Marisa Broersma, Maddie Wavrin and Stormee Van Belle each tallied four points in the frame.
For the most part, though, last night's contest was a defensive struggle.
"They pressed us the whole way. They put a lot of pressure on our guards," Smeenk said, praising his team's response in committing only nine turnovers last night.
Sunnyside Christian stretched its lead to as much as 14 points in the fourth quarter, before the Irish rallied with 3-point buckets to close within single digits.
Broersma led Sunnyside Christian with 13 points, while Van Belle added eight points and six rebounds. The Lady Knights' leading rebounder was again guard Alyssa Haak with 12 boards to go with three points.
Stephanie Ferrel paced the Irish with nine points.
Thanks to making up games rescheduled due to bad weather, the Lady Knights (7-0, 16-1) will play their third game in as many days tonight, Wednesday, when they host Klickitat.
Smeenk hopes to give some of his players a bit of a breather tonight.
"Last night's game was close so we went full bore, we didn't substitute much," he said. "Tonight I'm hoping to give more girls a chance to play."