TACOMA - The Grandview boys basketball team will have to go through the consolation round to sustain its perfect record of collecting trophies in each of its State 2A tourney appearances.
That's because the Greyhounds lost 70-55 last night to Centralia in opening round action.
Grandview struggled from the start against Centralia's quickness at point guard and height advantage in the paint with players standing at 6-4 and 6-7.
"They just did a good job of exposing our weakness inside and taking away our strength from the three-point line," Coach Scott Parrish said of the contest, which opened with an 11-2 Centralia run.
Though the Tigers' man defense was shutting down the perimeter game, Grandview's A.J. Valencia found enough holes to put up six of his team-high 13 points in the first quarter to pull Grandview within 17-12.
The Greyhound surge continued in the second stanza, as Grandview knotted the contest at 21-all.
But a 9-4 Centralia run to close out the half proved a sign of things to come.
Trailing 30-25 after one half, things went from bad to worse for Grandview as the Tigers roared out to a 21-5 surge in the third quarter to put the game away.
"Every time we'd get close they'd turn the defense up a notch," said Parrish. "Guys were taking shots that we weren't comfortable with, we had to rush some shots."
The Tiger lead was still over 20 points midway through the fourth when Parrish sent in his reserves.
"The guys came in off the bench and played well down the stretch," he observed. "Marty Guillen came in and scored all 10 his points in the fourth."
Grandview's 6-1 post player, Nick Sears, scored nine points despite a six-inch height disadvantage in the paint. Teammates C.J. Lopez and Rogi Fajardo added seven and six points, respectively.
"Wee could see early on they were the best team we've played this season," Parrish said of Centralia, a 3A program last year.
In fact, with so many 3A schools moving down this year, Grandview is one of just three 2A schools from last year that are in this season's tourney.
The mix has led to what Parrish calls the toughest 2A tourney, making it the most difficult challenge the Greyhounds will face in making it seven-for-seven in state hardware.
"There's no doubt about it," he said. "This is the toughest field I've seen."
And things won't get easier for Grandview (20-4) today when it faces Spokane League champ West Valley in the loser-out consolation bracket.
"They're really good, it's going to be a tough game," Parrish said of the match-up with the Eagles. "I watched them play and they have a lot of people that can handle the basketball."
If Grandview survives today's 2 p.m. tilt at the Tacoma Dome, it may see a familiar face in Wapato in tomorrow's 12:30 p.m. consolation semifinals, as the Wolves are in the same half of the bracket.