After 10 straight losses to open the 2007-08 season, the Sunnyside High School boys basketball team picked up its first win this past Friday with a 58-55 decision over the Hanford Falcons.
"This kind of gets the monkey off our backs," Sunnyside Coach Ron Rowe said. "It was just a really good team effort on Friday. A lot of players contributed."
The Grizzlies stuck close to the Falcons in the first two quarters, only trailing 27-23 at the half.
"We did a good job on our press defense," Rowe said. "We were able to force a number of turnovers. We were patient on offense, moved the ball around and were able to get some shots."
The Grizzlies outscored Hanford 16-11 in the third quarter to take a one-point lead into the fourth quarter.
In the final stanza, Sunnyside increased its lead to seven points until Hanford mounted a comeback of its own.
Sunnyside then hit 6-of-6 free throws in the last two and a half minutes to seal the win.
"The boys were pretty excited," Rowe said. "It was a great feeling to get the win, especially on the road."
On Saturday, Sunnyside lost to the Kennewick Lions, 65-49.
After playing with the Lions for the entire first half, Kennewick was able to pull away in the third quarter.
The Lions increased their 28-26 halftime lead to 48-38 by the end of three quarters.
"We only hit two field goals in the third quarter," Rowe explained. "We just couldn't get into a rhythm."
The Grizzlies did penetrate and were able to draw fouls, which Rowe said kept Sunnyside within 10 points for most of the second half.
In the fourth quarter, Sunnyside's shooting got worse. The Grizzlies were only able to make one field goal in the final quarter and Kennewick pulled away for good.
The Grizzlies (1-3, 1-11) will host the Kamiakin Braves next Saturday, Jan. 19, at 7:30 p.m.