GRANDVIEW - Grandview's big man, Chris Mejia, had his usual solid night, but fans of the Greyhounds boys basketball team can send their thank you cards to Blake McFerran.
McFerran donned his Superman cape and helped pull the struggling Greyhounds back into last night's first round, loser-out Mid-Valley League District tournament game against Ellensburg.
After a dismal first half, the Greyhounds charged back in the last two quarters to win 53-49.
The win propelled the Greyhounds into the Regional playoff tournament next week. The win also earned the Greyhounds a date with top seeded West Valley. The two teams will be looking to add another chapter to their classic rivalry as West Valley will host Grandview this Friday night at 5 p.m.
Grandview looked as if it was going to get off to a nice start in the game, opening with an 8-2 run behind two baskets from Mejia and a couple of other buckets from McFerran and Gabe Reyes.
But about three minutes into the game, the momentum turned south for the Greyhounds, as Grandview had trouble running any set defensive plays against Ellensburg. A couple of buckets by Ellensburg's Tony Quirk and a 3-pointer from teammate Josh Griffith gave the Bulldogs a 9-8 lead with 3:26 left in the first quarter. It would be a lead Ellensburg wouldn't relinquish for a while.
Ellensburg's Nick Gray ended the Bulldogs' first quarter heroics when he drained a 3-pointer to give the Greyhounds a 14-9 lead.
Ellensburg's Griffith drained a 3-pointer with 6:13 left in the second period to give the Bulldogs a 20-11 lead. Grandview had trouble boxing out in the second quarter, which led to several offensive putbacks by the Bulldogs.
Grandview had a three-minute stretch in the second quarter where the Greyhounds couldn't get anything to fall. Mejia, though, came through by scoring all seven of Grandview's second quarter points. The Greyhounds trailed 25-16 at the break.
Greyhound fans, though, saw a much different Grandview squad in the second half. The Greyhounds came out with a lot more energy.
The comeback for the Greyhounds started when Anthony Andrews hit a 3-point bucket with 6:02 left in the third to pull Grandview within 26-19. But it was McFerran who had a key play with 4:27 to go. McFerran drove hard to the basket and was foul. McFerran converted the free throw for the 3-point play to pull Grandview within 28-22. In less than a minute following that play, McFerran took it to the rack off a steal and then hit a nice little jumper to put Grandview within two points at 28-26.
Mejia put the Greyhounds ahead at 29-28 with 2:37 remaining in the third by canning a 3-pointer.
Nick Gray was huge down the stretch in the third quarter for the Bulldogs. Gray bounced off Mejia with under 30 seconds left to hit a shot and then later hit a free throw to put the Bulldogs ahead 32-29. With under 10 seconds to go, Grandview's Brandon Artz drained a long two-point shot to cut Ellensburg's lead to 32-31.
In the fourth quarter, James Vela was instrumental early for the Greyhounds. Vela put a rebound back in and then drained a 3-pointer off an assist from McFerran to put Grandview ahead 36-34 with 6:50 left in the game. The Bulldogs climbed back to take a 39-36 lead with 5:23 to go, but McFerran hit a beautiful off balanced jumper to put Grandview within a point. After a bucket from Andrews, Mejia hit a 3-pointer with 3:28 to go to put Grandview up 43-42. McFerran gave the Greyhounds the lead for good when he was fouled inside with 2:55 to go. McFerran converted the 3-point play to give Grandview a 46-42 lead.
Grandview finally got into the bonus with 2:09 left in the game. Mejia hit six free throws down the stretch and Andrews added another to put the Bulldogs away.
Grandview's defensive pressure, which was dominate in the second half, led to 20 points off 18 turnovers. The Bulldogs had 9 points off seven turnovers.
The Bulldogs outrebounded Grandview 32 to 22, but Ellensburg could only manage 9 second chance points. The Bulldogs grabbed an impressive 25 defensive boards.
The Greyhounds statistically dominated the second half. After going 0-for-6 in the first half, Grandview hit 4-of-8 3-pointers. The Greyhounds were also 9-of-12 from the free throw line in the second half and 12-for-25 from the field. The Greyhounds hit 11-of-16 free throws for the game while Ellensburg made 8-of-15.
"I was happy with the first three minutes of the game and the second half," said Grandview Coach Scott Parrish. "But we didn't have a lot of intensity during that stretch in between. They just didn't look like the Grandview Greyhound team we are used to seeing."
Parrish said it was nice to see McFerran step up for the Greyhounds. Parrish said McFerran and Mejia were both solid for Grandview last night.
Parrish said Grandview is ready to go into West Valley Friday night.
"We will just go in and give it a shot and see what happens," said Parrish. "Hopefully, we will catch a couple of breaks."
. Mike Kantman can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or email him at email@example.com
1 2 3 4 T
Ellensburg 14 11 7 17 49
Grandview 9 7 15 22 53
Scoring: Grandview-Chris Mejia 23, Blake McFerran 14, James Vela 6, Anthony Andrews 6, Brandon Artz 2, Gabe Reyes 2.
Ellensburg-Riley Sivak 16.
Rebounds: Chris Mejia 5.
Assists: James Vela 4.
Steals: James Vela 5, Blake McFerran 3.