ELLENSBURG - Maybe it was the cold, maybe it was the anticipation of Christmas or, more likely, a stingy defense the Grandview boys basketball team had to overcome in a 51-40 CWAC South win at Ellensburg this past Friday.
The host Bulldogs put a defensive blanket around the Greyhounds' key offensive threats, C.J. Lopez and A.J. Valencia, in building a 12-2 first quarter lead.
"We were not getting good looks at the basket," Grandview Coach Scott Parrish said. "They (Ellensburg's defenders) covered A.J. and C.J. and denied them the ball."
Parrish said it was the most tenacious coverage of Lopez and Valencia that he had seen so far this season.
Like they have all season, though, Grandview made adjustments in the face of adversity. The 'Hounds applied their own brand of a pressing, man-to-man defense and shifted their offense to free up Valencia and Lopez.
A 37-16 surge that started late in the first quarter and culminated with a 39-28 lead heading into the final stanza.
Pulling to within 15-8 after the first quarter, Grandview grabbed a 20-19 edge into the half with a 12-4 second quarter run.
The Greyhounds then salted away the win in the third, using a 19-9 surge to go up by double figures heading into the fourth quarter.
Valencia scored 18 points to lead Grandview and Lopez added 12. Nick Sears led the Greyhounds in the paint with 10 rebounds to go with eight points.
Parrish also praised the play of Rodrigo Fajardo, who scored all five of his points in the pivotal third quarter. The coach also singled out Zach Poteet, who played all but eight seconds of the game and was a sparkplug for Grandview's pressure defense.
Frankie Medina also kept the 'Hounds humming on defense and offense with a team-high three steals and three assists.
Grandview (4-0, 6-0) next takes the court on Friday, Jan. 5, 2007, when it hosts Selah.