EPHRATA - The Sunnyside High School boys basketball team broke away from Ephrata in the second half last Friday night, outscoring the Tigers 44-27 in the final two quarters, to register a non-league win in its first regulation game of the season.
The Grizzlies were clinging to a one-point lead at intermission. But with Sunnyside Coach Steve Urrutia substituting freely and often after the halftime break, the Grizzlies wore down the host Tigers to post a convincing 68-50 victory.
"It appeared that we had fresher legs in the second half," said Urrutia.
By using just about all of his bench, the scoring was fairly well spread out. Senior Reid Schilperoort paced the Grizzly offensive charge, tossing in a game high 13 points on 5-of-9 field goal shooting. Seniors Cody Heckert and Tony Cantu also hit double figures for Sunnyside with 10 points each. Scoring 8 apiece were teammates Eric Crimp, Jake Thomas and Efren Duran. Derrick Simmons and David Pacheco added efforts of 6 and 5 points, respectively.
Urrutia said the game plan this season is to utilize all 12 of his varsity players, instead of relying on just one or two players to do the bulk of the scoring. That was evident last Friday, as the Sunnyside bench outscored Ephrata's by a 19-4 margin.
"I think our bench is going to be one of our strengths this season," he said.
Was Urrutia surprised that his Grizzlies dominated Ephrata on its home floor?
"Well," he reluctantly chuckled, "We're not really used to this kind of thing happening, winning so big on the road like we did. But we do have expectations this year.
"Let's just say, after we walked away from the game, it didn't seem like it was an 18-point win," Urrutia added.
Scoring-wise, Sunnyside was torrid from two-point range. The Grizzlies connected on 62 percent of their shots. Sunnyside didn't fare as well from 3-point range, though, making just 4-of-23 attempts.
Defensively, Sunnyside limited the Tigers to just 36 percent field goal shooting overall. Ephrata's top two scorers in the game were Jim Williams and Noey Guzman with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
One of the keys to the Grizzlies posting the lopsided win was Sunnyside's effort on the boards. Paced by Schilperoort's 13 rebounds and another six caroms collected by Thomas, Sunnyside out-rebounded Ephrata 42 to 19.
"(Schilperoort) did a great job of controlling the boards," said Urrutia. "He's hit the weight room and he's very solid. He's not going to get pushed around by many kids this year."
Urrutia also credits Crimp with contributing mightily in the rebounding department. Playing just nine minutes, the 5'10" senior snatched five rebounds off the glass to go along with his 8 points.
"(Crimp) came in and played well," Urrutia said. "It was a pleasant surprise.
"We also got some pretty good play off the bench from Efren Duran with his 8 points.
"I wouldn't be surprised if on any given night he throws in 20 points for us. (Duran) has some good ball handling skills. He has a real feel for the game," Urrutia said.
In looking ahead to this week, Urrutia describes the games against Hermiston, Grandview and West Valley as critical.
"This week may define our whole season," he said. "We need to set a tone early on."
. Bob Story,can be contacted at
(509) 837-4500, or e-mail him
Sunnyside 10 14 23 21 -68
Ephrata 9 14 16 11 -50
FG-S'side 27/60, Ephrata 16/44. 3-pt. FG-S'side 4/23 (Pacheco, Cantu, Simmons, Heckert), Ephrata 7/20 (Lutz 2, Forrest 2, Williams 2). FT-S'side 10/16, Ephrata 11/24. Rbd.-S'side 42 (R. Schilperoort 13, Thomas 6), Ephrata 19 (Guzman 6). TO-S'side 24, Ephrata 11.
Sunnyside-Cantu 10, Zammaron 0, Marquez 0, Simmons 6, Herbert 10, L. Schilperoort 0, Crimp 8, R. Schilperoort 13, Thomas 8, Pacheco 5, Gilleland 0, Duran 8.