WALLA WALLA – DeSales put up some amazing shots from three-point territory, but still fell to the undefeated Sunnyside Christian Lady Knights, 61-50 last night.
“It was a very hard fought ball game,” said Lady Knight Coach Al Smeenk. “We had a 21-point lead, but they hit some threes and got it down to nine. We stayed resilient and took care of the ball.”
The game started out fairly close, with Sunnyside Christian up 19-12 at the end of the first quarter. But DeSales couldn’t find the basket in the second, scoring only five points, three of them on free throws.
Despite the 15-point lead at the half, the game was far from over. DeSales came back in the second half to outscore the Lady Knights by four points.
“They outscored us by three in the last quarter,” said Smeenk. “The last quarter they made five 3’s, several of them from five or six feet beyond the three-point arc.”
The three-pointers became a concern for Sunnyside Christian, who had to adjust to protecting against shots made from further out.
“We learned that even when it looks like they can’t make the shot, we still need to have our arms up in their faces,” said Smeenk.
DeSales also outrebounded the Lady Knights. Smeenk said it was the first time all year his team has been outrebounded.
Leading the scoring for Sunnyside Christian was senior Stormee Van Belle with 19 points. She also snared 13 rebounds.
Smeenk said his guards stepped up yesterday while Lady Knights’ powerhouse scorer Katelyn Banks was suffering from a sore arm. Micki Williams scored 14 points and Annie Brouwer popped in 15, both from the guard position. Williams also snagged six rebounds for the Lady Knights.
“I was really glad to see the guards step up,” said Smeenk. “This game was really good for us. I like to go (to DeSales) and play, they bring out the best in us. It’s fun to play them.”
Sunnyside Christian (8-0, 18-0) will finish out the regular season this coming weekend at home. They will host Trout Lake on Friday and Lyle-Wishram on Saturday.