YAKIMA - With their backs against the wall, players for the Grandview High School boys basketball team left it all on the floor and received some help from an unlikely hero in last night's quarterfinal match-up against Pullman.
Grandview edged the Pullman Greyhounds in a nail biter, winning 42-41. Grandview will now face Quincy in tonight's semi-final game at 9 p.m. at the Yakima SunDome. The winner of this game will face the winner of the Medical Lake/Chimacum pairing in the championship game on Saturday at 9 p.m.
Last night's game ended with Pullman missing a shot off the glass with one second left in the game to give Grandview the win.
But one has to give Pullman its dues, as the Greyhounds came at Grandview for 32 minutes and didn't let up.
Trailing by 10 points going into the fourth quarter, the Greyhounds went on a 19-8 run that was sparked by the actions of reserve player Brandon Artz.
With the Greyhounds down 33-25, Artz hit two free throws with 7:12 left in the fourth quarter to put Grandview within six points. Teammate Cordero Cisneros helped keep things close for Grandview, as the two teams traded buckets back and forth, by hitting 3-of-4 free throws. With 3:33 to go in the fourth quarter, Anthony Andrews had a key play, as he went coast to coast for a bucket and a foul. Andrews converted the 3-point play to put Grandview within one at 39-38. But the momentum changed in Grandview's favor with a play by Artz with 3:17 to go in the game. Artz created a steal against Pullman and took it in for a lay-up that ignited the Grandview faithful and put the Greyhounds ahead for good. With momentum on Grandview's side, Chris Mejia, who came into the game off a horrible opening night at State, scoring 3 points, powered his way past several Pullman defenders to score with 2:28 left in the game to put Grandview up 42-39. Mejia finished the night with a game-high 15 points.
Pullman missed a golden opportunity to tie the game with 1:36 left. Pullman's Kyle Hinrichs hit a lay-in and was fouled, but missed the ensuing free throw to leave the score at 42-41.
Grandview would make things interesting down the stretch, as the Greyhounds missed four free throws with under a minute to go in the game.
The end of the game was wild, as Pullman took back-to-back timeouts with eight seconds left and possession of the ball. Grandview was able to knock the ball out of bounds with one second left in the game. Pullman missed a long shot that hit the glass and fell to the floor, sending the Greyhounds to tonight's semifinal game against Quincy.
"They played really well," said Grandview Coach Scott Parrish of Pullman.
Parrish said Pullman has very solid players who can play outstanding defense, as was exhibited in last night's game.
Parrish said the play of Artz was huge, especially after a dismal third quarter, when Pullman outscored the Greyhounds 11-3.
"He really kind of gave us a spark," said Parrish of Artz. "He got us ignited a bit."
Parrish said Artz's energy and the fact that Grandview finally got some shots to fall in the fourth quarter was what proved to be the difference.
Trailing 22-20 at the end of the first half, the Greyhounds fell into a hole early in the second half.
Pullman's Justin Cooper came out in the third quarter and nailed back-to-back 3-pointers to give his team a 28-20 lead.
Pullman did an excellent job of creating scoring opportunities in the second half. The Spokane area team created a 3-point play by driving inside past Grandview's defense and getting fouled with 4:07 to go in the third quarter.
Pullman was stingy on defense in the third quarter. In fact, the only person to score for Grandview was Adam Dion, who had a game-high eight rebounds. Dion hit a free throw and had an offensive putback in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter, with the exception of the Greyhounds' performance at free throw line, started to resemble Grandview basketball. The Greyhounds' offense was really keyed by their defense, as Grandview scored the first six points of the final frame.
Parrish said Grandview's defense rose to the occasion in the fourth quarter, as the Greyhounds switched things up constantly, going from a zone defense to a trapping defense to man.
"We kind of mixed up our defense some more," said Parrish. "I don't know if that confused them."
Pullman stayed in the game in the first half with its 3-point shooting, nailing several long bombs from around the top of the key at the right moments. Pullman was 4-for-8 from 3-point range in the first half and 6-for-14 for the game. Parrish said he had decided to double down on Pullman in the post, resulting in Grandview having to give up some 3-point shots. Grandview only made one 3-point shot in the game.
The Greyhounds had another poor shooting night at the free throw line, going just 13-for-25, including a 9-for-17 stint in the second half. But, Grandview was able to take advantage of Pullman's turnovers, scoring 13 points off 17 turnovers. The Greyhounds had 10 steals in the game.
Parrish is not expecting the same outing that Grandview had during the District playoffs tonight against Quincy, especially with an injured James Vela taking the floor. Vela hurt his ankle late in the Pullman game. The Greyhounds won the District playoff game against Quincy 73-49, but the Jackrabbits have been playing solid at State, knocking off No. 1 seeds Castle Rock and Steilacoom to reach tonight's semifinal game.
"Last time we played them (Quincy), our kids shot the lights out," said Parrish. "We are going to have to play real good defense."
Regardless of the outcome of tonight's game, the Greyhounds will be bringing home a trophy from the 2A State tournament, being able to finish no lower than sixth.
Parrish said he was real pleased with the effort of his team and how the Greyhounds battled back in the fourth quarter last night.
"We just kind of found a way to win," said Parrish.
1 2 3 4 T
Pullman 9 13 11 8 41
Grandview 11 9 3 19 42
Scoring: Grandview-Chris Mejia 15, Anthony Andrews 9, Cordero Cisneros 5, James Vela 5, Adam Dion 4, Brandon Artz 4.
Pullman-Justin Cooper 9.
Rebounds: Adam Dion 8, James Vela 5, Cordero Cisneros 5.
Assists: James Vela 2, Chris Mejia 2.
Steals: Brandon Artz 4, James Vela 4.