Sunnyside Christian Boys Win Second Straight State Title
YAKIMA, Wash - Freshman Ryker Van Belle swished a 3-pointer with 29 seconds left in overtime, lifting Sunnyside Christian to a 38-37 win over Tekoa-Oakesdale and its second straight Class 1B boys state championship Saturday night.
Van Belle, in the game because starter Jesse Brouwer fouled out, calmly sank the trey from the left wing. It was his only shot in the 1:30 he played.
"Hey, the kid is a bull rider. He rides bulls. That's his other sport," SC coach Dean Wagenaar said of Van Belle. "He's a tough-nosed kid."
"Joel (Koopmans) can penetrate, but he may get stuck, and he needs someone he can pop the ball out to if he get stuck," Wagenaar added.
Koopmans, the tournament's unanimous MVP, led SC with 20 points, 13 after halftime. Midway through the third quarter, a repeat championship seemed certain for SC. But then Tekoa-Oakesdale got hot, and the Knights' began to struggle at the free throw line. The Knights missed 11 of 16 free throws after halftime; Koopmans missed seven of 10 during that stretch.
T-O (18-11) forced overtime when Kyle Schultz scored on a driving layup with 11 seconds left in regulation. After an SC turnover, a last-second T-O shot from the right baseline bounced off the far side of the rim as the buzzer sounded.
Kelly Cook led T-O with 15 points, and Josiah Tampien added 11.