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Poor first half effort dooms Lady Grizzlies

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Sunnyside's Samantha Wright pushes the ball up court against a West Valley player last Saturday.

In a case of the 'two Kates' the Sunnyside High School girls varsity basketball team was beaten by the visiting West Valley Rams this past Saturday in a non-division Columbia Basin League match-up.

Katelin Sillery scored 20 points for West Valley Saturday night and teammate Kaitlyn Curry dropped in 18 as the Rams outscored the Lady Grizzlies 66-39. For Sunnyside it was the team's first game in two weeks, for the Rams it was their third game of the week.

"They (West Valley) came out playing like they've been playing, we came out like we haven't," Sunnyside Coach Eric Berg said.

The story of Saturday's game was turnovers, and the Lady Grizzlies wrote a lot of pages to that story. Sunnyside turned the ball over a total of 32 times with 20 of those coming in the first half.

The Rams feasted on the Grizzly mistakes, getting most of their points in the second quarter from them.

West Valley jumped to a 17-10 lead after one quarter, despite Sunnyside getting the Rams into foul trouble. The Lady Grizzlies were down by just one point with one minute to go in the period when the Rams were able to score six points to lead by seven.

In the second quarter it was the Grizzlies who were in foul trouble, mainly Katie Wutzke and Megan Tyler. A side effect of the massive amount of turnovers Sunnyside committed in the first half was a lack of scoring opportunities. The Lady Grizzlies managed just 12 shots in the first half and four of those were blocked.

The Rams used these advantages to outscore Sunnyside 23-6 in the second stanza and take a 40-16 halftime lead.

In the second half Sunnyside was able to play a more competitive game but had dug too big a hole in the second quarter. Sunnyside was only outscored by three points in the second half, 26-23.

"We cut down on our turnovers which gave us more opportunities to shoot the ball," Berg said.

The Grizzlies took 26 shots from the field in the second half, hitting 10 of those attempts.

Berg said his team shot 37 percent for the game, just behind West Valley at 40 percent. Unfortunately the Rams took 73 shots to Sunnyside's 38.

Sunnyside played the boards better than West Valley did Saturday night. The Grizzlies pulled down 40 compared to West Valley's 36. Sunnyside also shot better than the Rams from the free throw line, going 10-for-23 (43 percent). West Valley was just 3-for-11 from the charity stripe.

Berg praised the play of Sunnyside's Megan Tyler, who led the team in scoring (10) and rebounds (12). She was followed by teammate Sarasa Partida, who had eight points. Destiny Maya added six points and teammates Samantha Wright, Wutzke and Toni Castillo each contributed four points.

Sunnyside didn't shoot well from the three-point line. The Lady Grizzlies made just one shot out of four attempts. West Valley managed to hit five three-point shots on 18 attempts.

Sunnyside (0-2, 1-6) will get back to division play this Friday, Jan. 9, when the Lady Grizzlies travel to Kennewick to take on the Southridge Suns at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, Jan. 10, Sunnyside will play the Kennewick Lions at 5:45 p.m. in Kennewick.

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