You can't take any team for granted in the Mid-Valley League. The Sunnyside High School boys basketball team learned that the hard way last Friday night.
Playing at last place and winless Wapato, the Grizzlies were tripped up by the Wolfpack, 64-63.
The disappointment of the loss apparently carried over to Saturday night, as Sunnyside was routed by the 2A East Valley Red Devils, 83-63.
The twin losses, both coming on the road, dropped Sunnyside to 2-4 in the conference standings, 4-9 overall.
The Grizzlies were poised to square their Mid-Valley League record at 3-3 Friday night, but a pair of free throws by Jim Smiscon with 10 seconds remaining in the contest sunk Sunnyside to two games under the .500 mark. Sunnyside was able to get off a couple shots, as well as two free throws of its own in the last few ticks of the game, but nothing would fall for the Grizzlies down the stretch.
Actually, nothing fell for Sunnyside in the final four minutes and 14 seconds of the game, as Wapato held the Grizzlies scoreless during that span.
"We didn't play badly Friday," said Sunnyside Coach Steve Urrutia. "But there at the end, nothing went in."
Urrutia said the only surprise of Friday's game was that Wapato matched up extremely well with his club...quickness and energy-wise, as well as size-wise.
"It was almost like looking in a mirror," Urrutia said of the Wolfpack.
Wapato, now just a game back of the Grizzlies for the league's sixth and final playoff berth to Districts, had four players score in double figures. Jason Pitt was the game's top scorer with 16 points, followed by Wolfpack teammates Harris, Vivette and Smiscon with 14, 12 and 10 points, respectively.
The lone Sunnyside player to hit double figures in the scoring column was 6'0" junior James Baysinger, who tossed in 13 points. Senior Derrick Simmons and sophomore Matthew Jongsma added 9 points apiece for Sunnyside.
Saturday at East Valley, Simmons and fellow senior Brandon Coleman threw in a team high 12 points in the 83-63 loss to the Red Devils. Baysinger and sophomore Jessie Montelongo chipped in 7 and 6 points, respectively, for the Grizzlies.
East Valley basically decided the outcome of the game in the opening quarter, forging a 30-13 lead. Drew Edgerly, who led all scorers in the game with 21 points, knocked down four shots from the field in the opening period-two of which came from behind the 3-point arc.
Sunnyside is scheduled to host a non-league game against the Quincy Jackrabbits this Tuesday, and will then return to Mid-Valley League play on Friday when the West Valley Rams roll into town. The Grizzlies will be seeking to avenge a 79-60 loss to West Valley that occurred back on Dec. 15 in both clubs' conference openers.