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Lady Grizzlies pull off shocker of No.3 Grandview

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Sunnyside Coach Leo Gomez (center) and his team react with joy at the end of last night's loser-out District tournament game. The victory over Grandview gives Sunnyside a Regional playoff berth.

GRANDVIEW - The Ellensburg High School girls basketball team might be wishing it was playing someone else this coming Friday night after seeing what Sunnyside did to Grandview last night.

In a game that showed a team doesn't have to be a top seed to make some noise, the Sunnyside High School girls basketball team, the Mid-Valley League's No. 6 seed, pulled of a shocking 49-35 upset of No. 3 seeded Grandview last night on the Lady Greyhounds' home floor.

The Lady Grizzlies, who have struggled all season, recorded their third straight victory last night with an amazing display of teamwork that quite frankly hasn't been seen all season.

Sunnyside outhustled, out rebounded and just outplayed the Lady Greyhounds, who had been vying for the league's No. 2 seed right up until the final week of the season. The victory earned the Lady Grizzlies a second-round District match-up at Ellensburg this Friday night at 7 p.m..

The momentum began for the Lady Grizzlies when Sunnyside's Vanessa Alvarez drained a 3-point basket in the first minute to give Sunnyside a 3-2 lead. The bucket, which was one of five 3-pointers on the night, really seemed to spark the Lady Grizzlies.

One of the pivotal moments in the first quarter happened when Keitha Robertson, one of the key players for the Lady Greyhounds, picked up her second foul of the game with 1:55 left. Sunnyside turned it up from there with Robertson in foul problems. Hilary Van de Graaf and Andrea Phillips, both of whom had tremendous games last night, hit back-to-back 3-pointers within a 30-second span to open up the Lady Grizzlies' lead to 13-6 with just over a minute left. Tonhya Wysong, who was instrumental in keeping the Lady Greyhounds around in the game, hit a 3-pointer with under 10 seconds left to pull Grandview to within 13-10 to close out the first period.

Both teams missed several scoring opportunities in the beginning of the second quarter. Grandview took a brief lead when Jessica Rodriguez hit a 3-pointer and then later a free throw to give the Lady Greyhounds a 14-13 lead. Phillips fired back with a 3-pointer to put Sunnyside back up 16-14 with 6:03 left and Sunnyside pulled away from there. A couple of buckets from Phillips and from teammate Bobi Haringa complemented another 3-point shot from Alvarez to give the Lady Grizzlies a 27-16 lead with 2:20 left in the first half. Monique Montelongo had two buckets and Haringa added another to finish out the first half. Grandview freshman Anastasia Andrews buried a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cut the deficit to 33-20.

The second half saw much of the same problems for the Lady Greyhounds, as they struggled from the foul line and on the glass. Sunnyside was up as much as 40-25 with 2:28 to go in the third before Wysong put together a run for the Lady Greyhounds. Wysong picked off a Sunnyside player with under 20 seconds to go for a bucket and them made a breathtaking 3-pointer from just inside half court to beat the buzzer to cut Sunnyside's lead to 40-30.

Sunnyside did a nice job of withstanding a run by the Lady Greyhounds in the fourth quarter. Grandview pulled to within seven points with 3:40 left in the game, but took some errant shots that didn't fall.

Sunnyside ended up in the bonus at the free throw line with 5:43 left in the game. Phillips spent much of the fourth quarter at the line for Sunnyside. Phillips hit four of Sunnyside five free throws scored down the stretch in the fourth quarter. The Lady Grizzlies finished off the game with buckets from Van de Graaf and Fatima Ruelas.

"We came out to play," said Sunnyside Coach Leo Gomez.

Gomez said his team's defense was key in the victory. Sunnyside also did a nice job on the glass, felt Gomez. The Lady Grizzlies dominated the boards, outrebounding Grandview 38-20.

Sunnyside's defense contested everything the Lady Greyhounds put up. The Lady Grizzlies were able to effectively stop Grandview in the middle while pressuring the Lady Greyhounds from the perimeter. Grandview had 25 turnovers in the game.

"We took advantage of some of their breakdowns," said Gomez.

Gomez said another key for Sunnyside last night was turnovers. Sunnyside had 15 last night compared to 32 in the Jan. 24 meeting with Grandview.

"The girls were pumped and ready to go last night," said Gomez. "The girls played like a team. I think they (Grandview) were surprised."

"I knew Sunnyside was going to come out and try to get us in the first half," said Grandview Coach Adolfo Hinojosa.

He said Sunnyside came out strong in the first half of the game, shooting well and outhustling his players.

"We just couldn't recover from that," said Hinojosa. "We were not rotating the way we usually rotate."

The Lady Greyhounds finished their last season in the Mid-Valley League 9-5 and 13-8 overall. Grandview will play next year in the 2A Central Washington Athletic Conference.

Hinojosa said overall he is happy with the season Grandview had this year.

"It was very successful for the program," he said. "It is something we can learn from."

Gomez, though, is looking forward to Friday night on the road at Ellensburg, where the Lady Grizzlies barely lost a few weeks ago.

1 2 3 4 T

Sunnyside 13 20 7 9 49

Grandview 10 10 10 5 35

Scoring: Andrea Phillips 14, Hilary Van de Graaf 10, Vanessa Alvarez 6, Bobi Haringa 6, Erica Mendez 4, Monique Montelongo 4, Lanna Pangle 2, Fatima Ruelas 2, Kacee Jo Bootsma 1.

Grandview-Tonhya Wysong 8, Jessica Rodriguez 8.

Rebounds: Hilary Van de Graaf 9, Bobi Haringa 8, Erica Mendez 6, Andrea Phillips 5.

Asssists: Andrea Phillips 3, Hilary Van de Graaf 3.

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