For some teams it takes a while to get going. And the Sunnyside High School girls basketball team seems to be getting going at the right time.
The Lady Grizzlies didn't win either of this past weekend's games against Ellensburg or West Valley, but Sunnyside looked a lot better than the first time each of the teams met.
Sunnyside nearly avenged an earlier season blowout by Ellensburg on Friday night, but came up short in the fourth quarter, losing 57-43. Saturday night proved to be nearly a mirror image of the first time Sunnyside and West Valley met, as the Lady Rams jumped on the Lady Grizzlies early on their way to a 52-37 victory.
Sunnyside, which has traditionally struggled at Ellensburg, played well off the bat Friday night. The Lady Grizzlies were down 41-35 going into the fourth quarter. The Lady Bulldogs put the game away with a 16-8 fourth period.
Sunnyside Coach Leo Gomez said the difference Friday night boiled down to a few officiating calls not going in favor of the Lady Grizzlies down the stretch.
"It was a good game for us," said Gomez. "But a couple of calls didn't happen. No calls for us (ended up as) points for them."
While Sunnyside senior Hilary Van de Graaf had a notable game with 13 points and nine rebounds, it was Lanna Pangle who showed up to play Friday night. Pangle had 13 points and eight rebounds.
"She came through for us," said Gomez.
The biggest difference for Sunnyside, said Gomez, was the amount of patience the team showed. Gomez said his team also did a good job of finding the open player, a lot more than in previous games.
Saturday night, the Lady Rams opened with a 14-2 first quarter and never looked back. West Valley led 27-9 at the break on its way to a 52-37 win.
"West Valley came out and played some tough man-to-man defense," said Gomez.
The Lady Grizzlies put together a solid second half, outscoring West Valley 28-25. Gomez said Sunnyside was much more effective at pushing the ball up the court in the second half.
Gomez said he was displeased with the play of his team. He said the only thing he knew going into the game was that Sunnyside would have to stop West Valley in the first quarter or it would be tough to win the game.
Bobi Haringa played big for the Lady Grizzlies with 9 points and eight rebounds.
Sunnyside (3-9, 6-12) will be looking to take a huge step towards securing the No. 6 seed in the Mid-Valley League and a playoff berth this Friday night at Wapato. Wapato is currently a game behind in the standings. Sunnyside will then travel to Prosser Saturday night to finish up the regular season. Depending on the outcome of this weekend's games, Wapato and Sunnyside could face off on Monday in a playoff for the final postseason berth.
. Mike Kantman can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
1 2 3 4 T
Sunnyside 11 12 12 8 43
Ellensburg 13 14 14 16 57
Scoring: Hilary Van de Graaf 13, Lanna Pangle 13, Andrea Phillips 5, Erica Mendez 5, Daniella Rivera 4, Monique Montelongo 3.
Ellensburg-Melissa Kuhm 17.
Rebounds: Hilary Van de Graaf 9.
Assists: Hilary Van de Graaf 3, Andrea Phillips 3.
1 2 3 4 T
West Valley 14 13 13 12 52
Sunnyside 2 7 12 16 37
Scoring: Bobi Haringa 9, Hilary Van de Graaf 6, Erica Mendez 5, Melissa Caballero 4, Andrea Phillips 4, Vanessa Alvarez 3, Monique Montelongo 2. Daniella Rivera 1.
West Valley-Cassie Murrillo 14.
Rebounds: Bobi Haringa 8, Hilary Van de Graaf 7, Erica Mendez 6, Andrea Phillips 4.
Assists: Andrea Phillips 3, Hilary Van de Graaf 2.