SPOKANE - The Killer B trio of Alex Brouwer, Brian Broersma and Brant Bosma combined for 39 points to help the Sunnyside Christian Knights hoop team open with a victory yesterday at the State 1B boys basketball tourney.
Thursday's 55-28 thumping of Columbia Adventist saw Brouwer tally seven of his game-high 15 points in the first quarter to lead the Knights to a 14-5 advantage.
Defense helped stake Sunnyside Christian to the fast start in holding the Kodiaks without a field goal for the final five minutes of the opening quarter.
For the game, the Kodiaks were held to 33 percent shooting inside the arc and 22 percent from three-point range. They were also coaxed into 11 turnovers compared to just five for Sunnyside Christian.
Columbia Adventist never recovered and by the half it looked like Sunnyside Christian would run away with it, leading 25-11 at the break.
The Kodiaks broke out of hibernation in the third frame and pulled within single digits, 29-21.
A key to Columbia Adventist's rally was the play of 6-3 big man David Irias in the paint. Irias wasn't dominant on the scoreboard, tallying 6 points, but was a force in the paint with five blocked shots to with six rebounds.
Irias' play was bigger, still, since the Kodiaks were without one of their starting post players due to injury.
"They did a good job defending us. Give them credit for making it tough on us," said Sunnyside Christian Coach Brian Bosma. "He made it tough to shoot over him and he deflected a lot of passes."
As a result, the Knights shot only 38 percent from inside the arc on 14-of-37 shooting. But further out, away from Irias' long arms, Sunnyside Christian blistered the net from three-point range by shooting at a 53 percent clip (8-of-15).
"I think we felt comfortable on that floor with the backdrop the way it is," Coach Bosma said of what turned out to be the friendly confines of Spokane Arena.
Even so, the Kodiaks were still within single digits late in the third when a fourth Killer B struck - the Sunnyside Christian bench. Reserve Cody Alvarado canned a late trey to spark the Knights back into a double-digit lead.
The Kodiaks managed to hang around, though, and with 7:48 to play in the game still trailed by only 10 points - far from the blowout suggested by the final score.
Sunnyside Christian finally plunged the dagger from that point on, closing out the contest with a 21-4 run.
"I wish I could say it was something I told them," Bosma laughed. "We didn't change any strategy, the shots just started falling."
A spark during the decisive surge was reserve Joel Martin, who canned a pair of treys.
Brouwer tallied 6 points and two assists over the final minutes of the contest to help ice the win. Broersma, who had been relatively quiet on the scoreboard with eight points through three quarters, knocked down six of his 14 points in the final seven minutes of play.
"We couldn't quite put them away in the way we would have liked, but we weathered the storm," Bosma said.
Despite Irias' play inside, Sunnyside Christian was able to weather one Kodiak attack after another with help from a big advantage on the boards.
The Knights outrebounded Columbia Adventist 35-24, including a 17-9 advantage on the offensive glass. Broersma led the way with six rebounds and two blocked shots. Darren Broersma, Drew Puterbaugh and Drew Scheenstra each climbed the ladder for five boards.
Turning in a nice all-around game for the Knights was Brant Bosma with 10 points, four rebounds, three steals and two assists.
Josh Rodriguez paced the Kodiaks with 10 points.
Coach Bosma praised his team's overall effort and the play of Brouwer in dishing out five assists to go with his game-high 15 points. All the while he committed just two turnovers as he guided the Knight attack for all but one minute of the contest.
"One of the stats I love to track is assists compared to turnovers because it really tells you a lot about someone's ability," Bosma said. "Alex is so far ahead of everybody else it's not even close," he added of the senior floor general. "He's helped some of our other players and it's not just telling someone how to do something, but walking the walk. It's leadership by example; value the basketball, value the basketball, value the basketball."
Sunnyside Christian, 25-2, now advances to tonight's semi-final contest against Pomeroy, a 60-55 winner over Christian Faith yesterday.
"I would describe them as a team built around defense," Bosma said of the Pirates. "In a lot of ways they're similar to us. It will be like playing ourselves, but hopefully we can force them into some mistakes."