GRANDVIEW - The high flying boys basketball team of Connell High School was grounded this past Friday night.
The Grandview boys basketball team tethered the Eagles, avenging a dismal earlier season defeat at Connell. Grandview scored 36 points off turnovers to pull away from the Eagles, 71-59.
That victory, coupled with a 67-49 win Saturday night at home against Toppenish, moved the Greyhounds into a first place tie with the Eagles atop the Central Washington Athletic Conference (CWAC) south division.
The Greyhounds lost the first game against Connell because of poor shooting. The 'Hounds were also without the services of Chris Mejia, out with an injury. Another key statistic in the last go-around was that the Eagles held James Vela to no points.
"The kids were pretty anxious to have another shot at them," said Grandview Coach Scott Parrish.
This time around was nothing like the last match-up.
"We kind of threw a new press at Connell," said Parrish.
The press, which Parrish explained was a 2-1-1-1 set, was designed to take the big men of Connell out of the game.
The Eagles took an early 15-13 lead, but the Greyhounds battled back with a 19-6 showing to close out the first half.
The Greyhounds extended their 11-point lead with a 19-17 showing in the third quarter. Parrish said Grandview opened the second half by scoring the first six points.
"We just kind of built a nice lead and held on to it," said Parrish. "We were able to execute in our half-court set. We played well with the lead."
Parrish said the press, which he kept on the entire game was the biggest difference.
"It was working so well," said Parrish.
The Greyhounds forced 26 Connell turnovers, leading to 36 points. The Greyhounds had just eight turnovers in the game.
Grandview shot considerably better from the field this time around, hitting 22-of-47 shots (46.8 percent), compared to just a 12 percent success rate in the two teams' earlier meeting. The Greyhounds were also on at the free throw line, hitting 22-of-34, going 18-for-22 in the second half. Parrish said Connell had to foul early in the fourth quarter.
Vela and Cordero Cisneros had fantastic games for the Greyhounds. Vela was 7-for-11 from the field, scoring a team-high 20 points. He also had five assists and five steals. Cisneros dropped in 16 points and snagged seven rebounds and had four assists and five steals.
Connell didn't record one assist in the game.
Saturday night at home against Toppenish, Stuart Reynolds exploded for 32 points against the Greyhounds, but it didn't really matter. Led by Mejia's 18 points, the Greyhounds had three scorers in double digits in the 67-49 victory.
"We played pretty well," said Parrish. "Chris made some really good decisions."
The Greyhounds struggled against the speed of the Wildcats. Parrish said the weekend games were a contradiction for the Greyhounds, as Grandview wanted to speed the tempo of the game up against Connell, but slow things down against the Wildcats.
The difference in the game was Grandview's 11-4 second quarter. The Greyhounds went from a press defense to a trap set that caused three quick turnovers towards the end of the first half, leading to six Grandview points.
Parrish felt a big difference in the game was the team play of his group. Reynolds was the high man for Toppenish, but Grandview had a balanced scoring attack.
Vela was phenomenal again for Grandview. Vela posted a double-double with 17 points and 10 assists. He had no turnovers in the game.
The Greyhounds (7-1, 14-2) are going to have their hands full this Saturday. After traveling to Kiona-Benton Friday night, the Greyhounds play host to Naches.
. Mike Kantman can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
1 2 3 4 T
Connell 15 6 17 21 59
Grandview 13 19 19 20 71
Scoring: Grandview-James Vela 20, Cordero Cisneros 16, Chris Mejia 16, Anthony Andrews 12, Adam Dion 7.
Connell-John Conrad 20, Kris Knight 17.
Rebounds: Cordero Cisneros 7.
Assists: James Vela 5.
Steals: James Vela 5. Cordero Cisneros 5.
1 2 3 4 T
Toppenish 17 4 14 14 49
Grandview 23 11 18 15 67
Scoring: Chris Mejia 18, James Vela 17, Adam Dion 10, Cordero Cisneros 9, Anthony Andrews 6, Brandon Artz 3, Frankie Medina 2, Zach Poteet 2.
Toppenish-Stuart Reynolds 32.
Rebounds: Cordero Cisneros 6, Adam Dion 6.
Assists: James Vela 10.