WEST VALLEY - Sunnyside's big man, 6'6" Jake Thomas, was unable to go Friday night, and for the Grizzlies their chances of upsetting West Valley on the Rams' home floor went by the wayside.
Grizzly Coach Steve Urrutia said Thomas was feeling sluggish in practice Thursday afternoon. Friday morning, Urrutia received word that Thomas would be out of the line-up that night because of illness.
The absence of Thomas was most felt by the Grizzlies on the boards. With Brian Swift and Drew Cavanaugh each grabbing seven rebounds, the Rams outboarded Sunnyside 26 to 18.
Cavanaugh and Swift also dealt the Grizzlies a blow by combining for 35 points.
Friday's victory by the Rams upped West Valley's second best Mid-Valley League record to 5-2. Sunnyside slipped to 2-5.
Despite being held to just 5 points in the second quarter, Sunnyside found itself trailing by just 10 at the half. A 10-point explosion by Cavanaugh in the third quarter, though, sparked the Rams to a 24-17 third quarter burst. The Grizzlies were unable to recover and slipped even further behind in the final period of play, eventually succumbing 70-47.
Senior Reid Schilperoort was one of the few bright spots for Sunnyside Friday evening. He tossed in a team high 15 points, seven of them coming in the third quarter. Schilperoort also had a team high seven rebounds.
The only other Grizzly to hit double figures in the scoring column was senior Cody Heckert, who knocked down two treys enroute to pumping in 10 points. Teammate Efren Duran also connected on two 3-pointers while chipping in 8 points.
One of the telling points in Friday's game was the 20 turnovers Sunnyside committed. The majority of those came in the second quarter, when West Valley outscored the Grizzlies by a 13-5 margin.
Sunnyside is scheduled to host league leading and unbeaten Hanford tomorrow evening (Tuesday).
Sunnyside 10 5 17 15 -47
West Valley 12 13 24 21 -70
FG-Sunnyside 20/41, West Valley 30/53. 3-pointers-Sunnyside 4 (Heckert 2, Duran 2), West Valley 6 (Cavanaugh 3). FT-Sunnyside 3/7, West Valley 4/7. Rbd.-Sunnyside 18 (R. Schilperoort 7), West Valley 26. TO-Sunnyside 20, West Valley 14.
Sunnyside-Cantu 2, Simmons 1, Heckert 10, L. Schilperoort 4, Crimp 1, R. Schilperoort 15, Montelongo 0, Duran 8, Engel 6.
West Valley-Walkenhauer 10, Swift 12, Borton 7, Cavanaugh 23, Juarez 4, Wagoner 8, Girard 6.