Local Sports Journal

Bernard Smith proved to be more than Grand Rapids Covenant Christian could handle on Friday night.

Benard Smith - WMC 2

West Michigan Christian center Bernard Smith powers past a Covenant Christian defender Friday night en route a 38-point game. Photo/Randy Riksen

Smith, the senior post player for the Western Michigan Christian Warriors, erupted for 38 points and 18 rebounds in a 71-57 victory over the visiting Chargers.

Smith had his double-double by halftime for the Warriors (2-1).

“We had a lot of time where we were able to beat the pressure and get those 2-on-2 and if we get a 2-on-2, it means Bernard is going 1-on-1,” WMC coach Kyle Mastenbrook said. “And when Bernard goes 1-on-1, he goes for 38 points.”

Smith started early with 11 of the Warriors’ 13 points in the first quarter that saw the teams battle to a 13-all standoff.

WMC opened up a 31-27 lead at the half thanks to seven more points from Smith and five from guard Jared Varnado.

Senior Alex Rop looks challenges  the Covenant Christian defense Friday night. Photo/Randy Riksen

Senior Alex Rop challenges the Covenant Christian defense Friday night. Photo/Randy Riksen

A 25-point third quarter pushed the Warriors into a 15-point lead after three quarters.

“I wasn’t worried about Bernard coming into the this game,” Mastenbrook said. “I knew he would put the ball in the hoop if we got it to him. I am thrilled with Derrick Holt and Jared (Varnado) for taking care of the ball against a team that puts great pressure on you.”

Varnado finished with nine points and four assists. Senior Alex Rop had seven rebounds and Holt had three steals.

WMC's Benard Smith dominated the glass versus the Chargers. Photo/Randy Riksen

WMC’s Bernard Smith dominated the glass with 18 boards versus the Chargers. Photo/Randy Riksen

The winless Chargers, who have opened the season against quality opponents, were led by Derrick DeVries and Brandon Kaptein with 15 points each. Jared Minderhoud added 13 points.

“I didn’t expect us to play this well at this point in the season,” Mastenbrook said.


Western Michigan Christian 71, GR Covenant Christian 57

Brandon Kuiper 1 0-1 2, Jared Minderhoud 5 0-0 13, Cole Bleyenburg 1 0-2 2, Derrick DeVries 5 4-6 15, Brendan Brower 2 0-0 5, Brandon Kaptein 6 3-6 15, Nick Looyenga 0 1-2 1, Austin Brower 2 0-4 4. Totals 22 8-21 57.

Alex Rop 0 3-4 3, Jared Varnado 2 3-4 9, Jacob Ray 2 0-2 5, Devin Eekhoff 1 0-0 2, Bernard Smith 15 8-15 38, Kyle Kingma 0 1-2 1, Sam Mast 1 0-0 2, Derrick Holt 2 1-2 6, James Godwin 2 0-0 5. Totals 25 16-29 71.

Covenant Chr. 13 – 14 – 14 – 16 – 57
WM Christian 13 – 18 – 25 – 15 – 71

3-pointers: Ray, Varnado (2), Holt,  Godwin, Minderhoud (3), DeVries. Fouled out: Brower. Technicals: none.