CONNELL - Limiting the Connell Eagles to just 14 points in the opening half, the Sunnyside High School boys basketball team handily rolled to a 45-36 non-league victory this past Saturday night.
The win was Sunnyside's second straight, and squared the Grizzlies' overall record on the year at 3-3.
"We were pretty much in control the entire game," said second year Sunnyside Coach Steve Urrutia, explaining that his Grizzlies widened their 28-14 halftime lead to a 20-point margin midway through the third quarter.
Connell rallied late in the third period to cut Sunnyside's lead to 14, and outscored the Grizzlies by a 10-5 margin in the final quarter, but it was to no avail.
Junior Derrick Simmons turned in his best performance of the season in helping propel the Grizzlies to the non-league win over the 2A Eagles. The 5'8" Simmons was 4-for-4 from the field enroute to knocking down 10 points for Sunnyside. He also dished out a team high four assists and came away with four steals.
"He's getting a little bit more comfortable with what we're attempting to do out on the floor," Urrutia said of Simmons.
It was Simmons and senior Noe Zammaron who sparked Sunnyside to an early 13-8 lead over the Eagles. The two combined for 11 of the Grizzlies' 13 first quarter points. Zammaron finished with a team high 12 points.
Senior Jake Thomas also turned in a fine overall effort for the Grizzlies. He crashed the boards for a team high seven rebounds and chipped in 6 points. Thomas, too, tallied three blocks, three assists and four steals.
Senior Luke Schilperoort added a 7-point scoring effort for Sunnyside, a season high, and senior Tony Cantu popped in 6 points to aid the winning cause.
Sunnyside shot 41 percent from the field for the game, compared to the 38 percent success rate the Eagles had in shooting the ball. To the Grizzlies' credit, they limited Connell to just 37 field goal attempts.
The Grizzlies have one more non-league game, this Tuesday at Quincy, before they open a five-game stretch of Mid-Valley League contests.
. Bob Story can be contacted at
(509) 837-4500, or e-mail him
Sunnyside 13 15 12 5 -45
Connell 8 6 12 10 -36
FG-S'side 21/51, Connell 14/37. 3-pt. FG-S'side 1/6 (L. Schilperoort), Connell 3/7 (Knight 2). FT-S'side 2/4, Connell 5/11. Rbd-S'side 22 (Thomas 7), Connell 30. TO-S'side 14, Connell 17.
Sunnyside-Simmons 10, Thomas 6, Cantu 6, Zammaron 12, Heckert 0, L. Schilperoort 7, Crimp 0, R. Schilperoort 4, Pacheco 0, Duran 0.