The Grandview boys basketball team grabbed the CWAC's top seed at this week's State 2A tourney by dispatching East Valley 73-56 last Saturday.
Grandview took control early in Saturday's District championship game, played in the Sunnyside High School gym, surging to a 19-11 first-quarter lead over the Red Devils.
"We hit some long threes," said Greyhound Coach Scott Parrish. "It was pretty hard to defend us. The kids were feeling it."
Grandview's A.J. Valencia was especially "feeling it" from long range, scoring 21 of his game-high 30 points in the first half. Valencia was 6-of-9 from three-point land for the game.
Even so, the Greyhounds still led only 33-27 at intermission.
That's when Parrish implemented more focus on getting the ball into the post to complement his team's perimeter shooting.
"We came out in the third quarter and played well," he said. "We were aggressive in attacking the bucket."
While Grandview's Nick Sears, along with Valencia, pounded away inside, teammate C.J. Lopez fired away from outside, scoring 14 of his 23 points in the second half.
Parrish praised Sears' play in providing firepower in the paint, considering that Valencia and Lopez accounted for more than two-thirds of Grandview's total scoring.
"He a real nice job in the third quarter," Parrish said of Sears' 12 point, six rebound night. "We wanted to try to get the ball inside."
The extra push upped Grandview's lead over East Valley to double digits at 48-37 heading into the fourth quarter.
In an attempt to get back into the game, the Red Devils scrapped and took some chances on defense, with mixed results.
"They became real aggressive, they had to take some risks and go for steals," Parrish said of East Valley. "They hit a three, but the kids withstood the attack."
The Red Devil's approach actually extended Grandview's lead, as the Greyhounds posted a 25-point fourth quarter to seal the victory.
On defense, the Greyhound trio of Sears, Valencia and Zach Poteet slowed down East Valley's top scorer Kevin Komstadius, holding the big man to 20 points on 40 percent shooting.
"They've done a nice job on him all three times we played East Valley this season," said Parrish. "We made it pretty tough on him, he didn't get anything too easy."
Poteet contributed four rebounds to the Grandview cause, and point guard Frankie Medina kept the Greyhound offense humming with six assists to with six rebounds. Teammate Adrian Perez also helped in the paint with five boards.
Grandview (20-3) will need a similar team attack in the paint this Wednesday in the Tacoma Dome when it takes on Centralia at 8:30 p.m. to close out first-day action at the 2A tourney.
Parrish has game film on Centralia (15-6 during the regular season) and said the squad boasts a line-up that features 6-7 and 6-4 players. "They're real big," the coach said. "They've got a nice point guard, too, who handles the ball well. He's real quick."
The sixth-ranked Greyhounds will have to play sound, fundamental basketball to come away with a win, Parrish said. "We'll have to be real solid on defense and help as much as we can on those big kids."
It will be an old hand versus a newcomer when Grandview-with six trophies in six trips to the 2A dance-tips off against Centralia, making its first appearance at the 2A tourney.
Grandview was sixth at last year's tourney.
This is Centralia's first dance to any State tourney since 1999, when it was a 3A school. Centralia claimed eight State 3A boys trophies between 1977 and 1999.
Grandview leaves tomorrow morning for the Tacoma Dome. The Greyhounds may have a longer commute than the SunDome last year, but at least they'll be in the late game instead of the breakfast bracket like last year.
"I don't know if it's better to start in the morning or night," Parrish said of opening at 9 a.m. last year as opposed to 8:30 p.m. in this week's tourney.
Parrish did know one thing about the opener, though.
"We're just going to go and try to be ready to play."