Holland Christian boys top Zeeland East following Special Olympics
The Holland Sentinel - 1/26/2019
Jan. 26--HOLLAND -- As the season rolls on, every game could be a first-place game for the Holland Christian boys basketball team.
The Maroons have one loss in the OK Green Conference, and with a strong conference top-to-bottom, every game keeps them within reach of first-place Unity Christian.
It adds an element of urgency and tension to every game, especially against a Zeeland East team that has its star guard back in the lineup.
The Maroons hit big shots at crucial points of the game and defeated Zeeland East 65-52 on Friday at the Civic Center.
"We have to treat every game like it is the biggest game of the season," Holland Christian's Ethan Alderink said. "We want to try to dominate everyone we play. We have to come in every game with that killer mentality."
The Maroons had it on Friday.
The first big shot came from Jaxon Halbert, who hit a 3-pointer at the first-quarter buzzer to put the Maroons up 17-11.
The Maroons (10-2, 5-1 OK Green) carried that momentum into the second quarter. Vince Overway hit a 3 and Ethan Alderink scored twice in the paint to put Holland Christian up 24-13 with 2:45 to go in the half.
"The guys know that one bad game can mean the end of a conference championship dream. Those two are clicking at a high level right now," Holland Christian coach David Kool said. "Usually it is one or the other, but the past couple of weeks, it has been both. That is how we can get to the next level. They can score in a variety of ways and wreak havoc on the opposing defense.
Zeeland East's Trip Riemersma converted a four-point play to pull the Chix within 24-19 at halftime.
After a Chix free-throw cut the deficit to 24-20, Alderink drained a 3. Will VanWieren added a reverse layup and the Maroons pushed its lead to 29-20 with 5:17 to go in the third.
Alderink buried another 3, Overway added one after a leaping save by VanWieren and Alderink hit two more 3s as the Maroons pushed their lead to 43-23 and put the game out of reach.
"We know he can go to the hole, we know he can shoot. Even when we help on him, he gets (his teammates) open," Zeeland East coach Mike Fenlon said.
Case VanderZee banked in a 3 at the third-quarter buzzer for a 48-25 lead.
Riemersma hit another 3 and a three-point play and Travis Voss added a 3, but Alderink buried another 3 and the Maroons led 56-42 with 2:51 to go.
"I was rushing a little bit in the first half, and talking with the coaches, we decided I needed to let it come to me rather than force it. My teammates found me on a lot of really good passes," Alderink said.
Alderink finished with 26 points. Overway had 12, VanWieren had 10, Halbert had eight and VanderZee had seven.
Riemersma led the Chix (1-5 OK Green) with 25 points.
Dykhouse was playing in his third game back after a broken finger injury had him sidelined for nearly two months. He finished with eight points.
"Trip had a good game. He is finding his spots to score," Fenlon said. "We played hard, and all we can ask is that we play hard, and get a little better."
Unified basketball game tips off evening
Prior to the game, the Zeeland Special Olympics Unified Team played against Holland Christian.
The teams are special education athletes and Unified program students.
It is the second year for the Zeeland program, which has begun playing teams like Holland Christian and West Ottawa.
"We met with the OK Green schools and West Ottawa and pitched the idea of doing this more often against more teams. We got Holland Christian and West Ottawa on board, and Holland is coming along. This is a byproduct of a lot of years of work," Zeeland coach Nate VandeGuchte said. "This is really a dream come true for us. As a special ed teacher and coach, to be able to mesh those things gets the investment that much higher. We know it is something that is only going to grow, and that is exciting."
-- Follow Sports Editor Dan D'Addona on Twitter @DanDAddona and Facebook @Holland Sentinel Sports.
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