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Boys basketball: Washington Twp. pulls away for win over Covenant

Updated: April 6, 2014 6:40AM



VALPARAISO — Covenant Christian coach John Heerema received a glimpse of the future during the first half of Tuesday night’s sectional opener against Washington Township. Although the Knights eventually suffered a 67-49 defeat, their coach nearly choked up with pride following the game.

“We were right there,” Heerema said. “I told these guys I’m so excited because we look like a basketball team.”

Washington Township scored the first 12 points of the game, before Covenant Christian roared back with a 16-4 run to draw even. John Van Kley, the lone senior for the Knights, swished back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the game with 5 minutes, 55 seconds remaining in the first half. Van Kley reached double figures with 10 points in the final game of his high school career.

“John stepped it up tonight,” Heerema said. “I love that kid. I just have the utmost respect for him. My kids look up to him and I look up to him. We’re going to miss him.”

Covenant Christian (4-18) will have 11 varsity players return next season. The Senators prevailed 69-37 when the two teams met on Nov. 30.

“Give Covenant Christian credit,” Washington Township coach Scott Bowersock said. “They played tough. They played hard.”

With three minutes remaining in the first half, the Senators led 21-20 before an Alex Lowther three-point play sparked an 11-3 Washington Township run.

Lowther finished the game with 17 points, while teammate Nathan Line led all scorers with 19.

“I thought Alex really set the defensive tone in the first half,” Bowersock said. “In the second half, Nathan played like a man possessed. Those two really set the tone for us.”

The Senators (16-5) outscored the Knights 20-10 in the third quarter to pull away.

Washington Township advances to play Greater South Shore Conference champion Marquette (14-6) in Friday’s semifinal.

“They’re a good team,” Bowersock said. “There’s no denying that. We’re going to watch a ton of game film. For us to beat Marquette, we’re going to have to take care of the basketball and box them out. We’re going to have to play better than we did tonight.”



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