PROSSER - The 3A Sunnyside Grizzly boys basketball team evened its season record at 2-2 with a 61-37 win at 2A Prosser last night.
"Our defense was very strong and consistent on the half court end," Sunnyside Coach Ron Rowe said of his team's effort. "We had a lot of good team defense. We stopped dribble penetration and forced the ball back out."
For all of Sunnyside's effort, Prosser was still within striking range, down 24-15 at the half.
The Grizzlies came out with a mission in the third period, going on a 22-10 run to put the game away.
"We talked (at the half) about how we need to be stronger on defense and have no let ups," Rowe said.
Sunnyside switched up its pressing defense during the quarter, and benefited on the offensive end with transition hoops or creating open looks at the bucket.
"We were able to force them to work harder, we ended up picking off a number of passes," said Rowe.
The Grizzlies had 12 steals for the game.
Sunnyside guard Matt Johnson scored six of his game-high 17 points in the third to spark the Grizzlies.
Rowe said he was pleased with his team's ball movement on offense to create open shot attempts. He also praised the effort by Tristan Abbott and Alfredo De La Barrera, who tallied 16 points for the Grizzlies, in leading Sunnyside to a 34-20 rebounding advantage over the taller Mustangs.
"We had just a very excellent effort by a lot of players going after missed shots one, two, three times," Rowe said. "There was a very strong determination to get rebounds."
Sunnyside opens league play at home this coming Friday against Davis, then travels to Moses Lake on Saturday.