EPHRATA - A fourth-quarter rally fell just short for the Grandview High School girls basketball team last night in a 49-47 loss at Ephrata.
The Thursday night road contest was a re-match of the CWAC South opener for both teams last month, in which the Lady Greyhounds prevailed by 12 points.
After a tight first quarter, the host Tigers took control of the contest in the second stanza with a 22-13 run to go up 32-22 at the half.
"They were basically putting up any kind of shot and it would go in," Grandview Coach Paul Van Pelt said of Ephrata's hot hand in the second quarter. For the first half, the Tigers shot at a 42 percent clip from the field and an eye-popping 50 percent from three-point land.
Grandview, on the other hand, struggled to find the bottom of the net. "We missed some easy shots in the key," Van Pelt said of his team's 14-of-61 shooting for the game.
The Lady Greyhounds managed to trim the deficit to single digits, 44-35, heading into the fourth quarter, then staged a furious rally over the final eight minutes.
"We got into the bonus at the end of the third quarter and I told the girls everything has to be to the hoop in the fourth," Van Pelt said. "We tried to pound it inside, to get some close shots."
With that strategy in mind, Grandview's Kinzi Poteet connected on 7-of-10 free throw attempts in the final quarter to spark the Lady Greyhounds to a 12-5 rally.
While the charity line gave Grandview an offensive lift in the final quarter, the Lady Greyhounds stepped up the pressure on the defensive end. "We did a full court press to get the intensity up," Van Pelt said. "There was nothing left to lose and they couldn't handle our pressure."
All of that set the stage for a final opportunity to win the contest or send it into overtime. Grandview had the ball with 15 seconds left, but Ephrata forced a turnover when it triple-teamed Poteet.
Poteet led Grandview with 21 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, four blocked shots and four steals. Teammate Anna George added 10 points and seven rebounds.
Ephrata was led by two players in double figures, Abby Smith and Lexi Lange with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Smith, a reserve, sparked a 22-4 advantage off the bench for the Tigers, also collecting a team-high nine rebounds in just 19 minutes of play.
The loss dropped Grandview to 2-7 in league play and 4-7 overall.
The Greyhounds won't have long to rebound from the tough loss as they travel to Toppenish today (Friday) to conclude a season stretch in which they have played five of the last six games on the road.
Van Pelt said he reminded the girls after the Ephrata game that "this is a long season. You've got to forget about this and make it a learning experience."