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Lady Knights remain undefeated

The Sunnyside Christian Lady Knights' basketball team won a pair of league contests this past Friday and Saturday to stay undefeated.

On Friday the girls took control early and cruised to a 57-15 win at Lyle. Sunnyside Christian held the host Cougars scoreless in the first quarter on the way to a 23-0 lead.

The Lady Knights built an insurmountable 39-6 advantage at the half.

"They (the Cougars) struggled and we were fired up, ready to go," Sunnyside Christian Coach Al Smeenk said of his team's fast start against Lyle.

The Lady Knights built a cushion of more than 40 points heading into the fourth quarter and, according to mercy rules, the fourth quarter clock did not stop for timeouts or whistles.

"Once you get ahead by 40 the clock keeps running," Smeenk said.

As a result, Sunnyside Christian, which played all of its players in all four quarters, only outscored Lyle 4-2 in the final frame.

Kara Den Hoed and Maddie Wavrin tallied in double figures for Sunnyside Christian with 15 and 10 points, respectively. The Lady Knights also got a boost from Alyssa Haak and Marissa Broersma, who each canned nine points.

Katie Long poured in seven points for Sunnyside Christian, and teammate Danica DeGroot added four.

Stormee Van Belle, normally scoring in double figures for the Lady Knights, was held to two points Friday night. The post player was a leader in the paint, though, as Van Belle hauled down a game-high nine rebounds.

Saturday the girls hosted Trout Lake-Glenwood (TLG) and found a much tougher foe before pulling out a 54-33 victory.

"Trout Lake-Glenwood is a very athletic bunch. Their girls were State champions in track," Smeenk said.

Sunnyside Christian mustered a 17-10 lead after one quarter and coaxed its advantage into double figures, 29-17, at the half.

Smeenk said nothing came easy against the Mustangs.

"They came out and played very physical, very aggressive," he said. "I give them a lot of credit, they didn't back down one bit."

As in the first half, the Lady Knights bit by bit pulled away in the second half. Sunnyside Christian outscored the Mustangs 15-8 in the third quarter and the final stanza was nearly a wash as the Lady Knights only outscored TLG 10-8.

The steady pace suited Smeenk just fine.

"We played man-to-man defense the entire ball game," he said. "I'm thinking we'll probably see them again this season and didn't want to show them anything."

Sunnyside Christian (4-0, 11-0) enjoyed a balanced scoring effort with three players in double figures. Long connected for a game-high 13 points, followed by 12 for Den Hoed and 10 points for Van Belle.

Van Belle again led the Lady Knights inside, cleaning the glass for nine boards.

Ashley Sampson paced the Mustangs with 11 points.

After crushing their first three league opponents, Smeenk was happy to see his team face a physical squad.

"We've got some difficult games coming up and it (the TLG game) gave us a chance to work on some things," he said. "We need to take care of the ball and work on higher percentage shooting."

Speaking of difficult games, Sunnyside Christian will host a battle of top 10 teams among State 1B schools tomorrow night, Tuesday. That's when the sixth-ranked Moses Lake Christian Crusaders will travel to Sunnyside to take on the second-ranked Lady Knights.

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