KENNEWICK - The Sunnyside boys basketball team couldn't shake a slow start last night in a 65-43 loss at Southridge.
When Sunnyside upset the Suns earlier this season, Southridge was ranked in the state's top 10.
Southridge's ranking has slipped since then, but the Suns were a tougher team last night with the addition of 6-6 center Jason Munns, bound for BYU on a full-ride football scholarship. Munns did not play in the first game against Sunnyside.
Still, the Grizzlies trailed by just six after one quarter last night.
But the host Suns put the game away with a 23-7 second quarter run. "We had about a six-minute scoring drought," noted Sunnyside Coach Steve Urrutia. "Southridge defensively did a good job."
That includes Munns, whom Urrutia said blocked several shots and forced Sunnyside to alter its offense.
Sunnyside played Southridge closer in the second half, as each team scored 25 points, but couldn't overcome the halftime deficit.
Nathan Cornelius led Sunnyside with 20 points, followed by teammate Gibby Briones with 10.
Despite the loss, Sunnyside (3-7, 4-14) is still in the District playoff hunt, just a half-game behind Eastmont for the Columbia Basin League's sixth and final playoff berth.
"We may have to win our last two games to get in," said Urrutia.
Sunnyside returns to action next Tuesday, Feb. 13, at Kamiakin, followed by the regular season finale at home on Friday, Feb. 19, against West Valley.