The Sunnyside Christian Lady Knights sent a message to the rest of the league over the weekend with two solid wins against strong teams.
Last Friday the Lady Knights hosted Trout Lake-Glenwood and soundly defeated the Mustangs, 84-25.
"They are one of the better teams in the league, we just really wanted to make a statement," said Lady Knights Coach Al Smeenk. "That's one of our goals, to make a statement that we are the team to beat."
Stormee Van Belle managed a double-double in the game with 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead Sunnyside Christian.
Close behind her in scoring was Katelyn Banks, who put away 20 points for her team. Kara den Hoed contributed another 14 and Brittany Broersma added 13 more.
"It was one of those games where everybody played all four quarters," said Smeenk. "It was a fun night."
Smeenk said his team was running the floor and playing man-to-man, but not pressing.
This past Saturday the Lady Knights welcomed Lyle-Wishram to their home floor, and then promptly mopped it with their visitors, beating the Cougars 83-23.
"This could have been a game where everybody played all four quarters," said Smeenk, "But our leaders sat out the fourth quarter."
To give all his players more time, Smeenk benched Van Belle, Banks and den Hoed for the fourth quarter.
"I don't have many players," he said. "The other girls got to play an entire quarter."
Banks led the team in scoring with 23 points, but Van Belle was all over the court as usual, bucketing 15 points and pulling down 10 loose balls off the boards for another double-double. She also added six assists to her tally.
"She's an animal out there," said Smeenk. "When Stormee gets a rebound, the team runs the floor to get into position."
Broersma contributed another 11 points for the Lady Knights and den Hoed bucketed 18 more.
"We've really been working on setting goals," said Smeenk. "Team goals and individual goals. We evaluate as a team after the game and hold each other accountable. It's fun, the girls have a lot of smiles on their faces."
Sunnyside Christian (6-0, 13-0) hosts Klickitat on Friday, Jan. 18, then will take the trip to Bickleton on Saturday, Jan. 19.