GOLDENDALE - "We wanted to make the statement that we are the best team in the league," Sunnyside Christian girls hoop coach Al Smeenk said of District tourney play this past weekend. "We didn't want them to think they could beat us."
Consider it mission accomplished as the Lady Knights swamped their opponents in two District playoff games this past Friday and Saturday.
"We were ready to play," Smeenk said of his team's attitude. "The girls are self motivated and wanted to play well."
The back-to-back wins sends Sunnyside Christian to the District title game this coming Friday.
First the Lady Knights punched their ticket to the District semifinals with a convincing 70-9 rout of Klickitat on Friday.
The Vandals mustered only five first-half points enroute to a 40-5 deficit against Sunnyside Christian.
"They struggled to score, our goal was to stop them and we did a good job of that," said Smeenk.
All 12 of Sunnyside Christian's players saw extensive game time Friday, including some JV players.
Marisa Broersma paced the Lady Knights with 15 points, while teammates Brittany Broersma and Stormee Van Belle added 10 points each.
Alyssa Haak, Annie Brouwer and Rita Dalrymple each chipped in eight points for Sunnyside Christian. Dalrymple also pulled down a game-high eight rebounds.
Lara Parsons led the Vandals with five points.
That set the stage for Saturday's District semifinal contest with Trout Lake-Glenwood, which finished second place in league play this year.
As on Friday, Sunnyside Christian took control and never let up in a 73-12 romp.
"That was just really good defense," Smeenk said of his team's play.
He praised Marisa Broersma, Brittany Broersma and Maddie Wavrin for putting the clamps on Trout Lake's leading scorer, Ashley Sampson, who was held to just three points for the game.
"They're just great athletes, they're tall and their quick," Smeenk said of the trio.
Van Belle sparked the Lady Knights with a double-double, tallying 14 points while pulling down 13 boards.
Kara Den Hoed added 12 points for Sunnyside Christian, while Marisa Broersma and Wavrin added 11 and nine points, respectively. Brittany Broersma and Alyssa Haak chipped in eight points each.
Dalrymple again came off the bench to provide a spark in the paint, cleaning the glass for seven rebounds while scoring six points.
Sunnyside Christian (21-1) now sets its sights on the District title game this Friday at Zillah Middle School. The girls will play at 6 p.m., followed by the Knight boys in their District title contest at 7:30 p.m.
Smeenk said there's a good chance his team will square up against Trout Lake-Glennwood again in the title tilt, which would be the fourth time this season the two squads will have tipped off.