After a shaky start to the season, the Sunnyside High School junior varsity boys basketball team finds itself back on the winning track.
The Grizzly JV picked up a win Tuesday, Dec. 14, against Kiona-Benton, 58-47, despite not firing on all cylinders.
"It wasn't our best game," said Sunnyside JV Coach Eric Lindstrand.
Sunnyside's JV suited only eight players to go against the Bears.
Brandon Coleman had the most impressive outing against Ki-Be with 17 points. Teammate Timmy Briones just missed out on a double-double with 12 points and eight rebounds. Jessie Montelongo added 10 points for the Grizzlies.
Lindstrand said Ki-Be pulled within two points in the fourth quarter, but the Grizzlies managed to make their way to the free throw line several times in the period.
Lindstrand said he was impressed with the hustle of his team, and said his Grizzlies were still having trouble running their press defense and working the ball upcourt on the offensive side.
On Saturday, Dec. 18, the Grizzlies rebounded from a sluggish first half to defeat Connell 47-40.
Sunnyside trailed 16-13 at the break.
Lindstrand said in the first half Sunnyside had a number of turnovers that cost them.
"We couldn't get any sets," said Lindstrand.
After a pep talk at halftime, Lindstrand said his team came out a lot more relaxed in the second half.
"I am real proud of them," said Lindstrand. "They played really well in the second half."
Briones led Sunnyside in scoring with 12 points. Coleman dumped in 10 points. Teammate Jose Ramos finished with six rebounds.
On Tuesday, Dec. 21, the Grizzlies thrashed Quincy's JV 66-35.
Sunnyside led by 15 points at the half and never looked back.
"This is the best we have played all year," said Lindstrand. "The kids are really hustling."
Lindstrand said everything was working for Sunnyside on both sides of the ball.
Jaime Sambrano led Sunnyside with 12 points. Coleman had 11 points and teammate Anthony Palacios finished with 9 points.
Ryan Engel led Sunnyside on the glass with five rebounds.
Sunnyside's JV is now 4-3 on the season.