SELAH - The Sunnyside boys basketball team weathered a third-quarter shooting slump to claim their first win of the season in an 86-80 victory at Selah last night.
Paced by Jessie Montelongo's 11 first-quarter points, the Grizzlies stormed out of the gate to a 25-20 lead on the way to a 49-39 advantage at the half.
"We had a lot better match-ups than we've had so far this year," Coach Steve Urrutia said of the tilt between his 3A Grizzlies and 2A Selah.
Sunnyside's double-digit lead didn't last long in the third stanza, though, as the Vikings amped up their pressure defense against a Grizzly attack that suddenly couldn't find the bottom of the net.
"We cooled off and they (Selah) played better," Urrutia observed.
Selah got to within one point of the Grizzlies before Urrutia had his team shift gears from a full court to a three-quarter court press.
"The idea is to try to coax the other team into dribbling up the side," Urrutia said. The plan worked as Selah turned the ball back over to Sunnyside on three consecutive possessions to put the Grizzlies back up by seven.
Selah answered with a single bucket to trail 68-63 heading into the final quarter.
The Grizzlies held control from that point in the non-league game to earn their first win of the 2006-07 season.
Montelongo led Sunnyside with 28 points and Justin Bos tallied 20 points. Teammates James Baysinger and Adrian Cantu chipped in 12 and five points respectively, while Sunnyside's Hunter Van De Graaf scored four and collected a team-high six rebounds.
Sunnyside (1-4) hosts Richland this Friday.