The Sunnyside girls basketball team this past Friday and Saturday had mixed results after competing in two non-league match-ups against Eisenhower and Prosser.
Friday the Lady Grizzlies defeated the visiting Cadets 50-38.
Eisenhower outperformed Sunnyside 11-8 in the opening quarter, but Lady Grizzly Coach Rick Puente said once Sunnyside settled in his team was able to play well together.
"I would say they had first game jitters," said Puente.
Settling down resulted in Sunnyside taking an 18-14 lead after scoring 10 points in the second quarter.
The Lady Grizzly defense held the Cadets to just three points in the second quarter.
The second half of the game was more of a battle.
"After the half, I think we made adjustments that we weren't able to execute well," said Puente.
Eisenhower was able to score 16 points and Sunnyside scored 13 in the third quarter. The Lady Grizzlies narrowly held onto a 31-30 lead.
"Our execution was off and that led to some easy buckets for Ike," said Puente.
Not wanting to lose, Sunnyside executed a full-court press in the final stanza.
"Our defense created some great offensive opportunities," said Puente, noting he believes defensive plays will be the key to a successful season.
"We want to capitalize on opportunities created by our defense," he said.
Sunnyside scored 19 points and held Eisenhower to eight points in the final quarter of Friday's game.
Leading scorer for the game was Vanessa Alvarez with 17 points. The SHS sophomore also contributed with four assists and 13 steals.
Jordan Rodriguez scored 15 points, provided four assists and had five steals. Two of her buckets were from beyond the three-point arc.
Another Lady Grizzly who was successful from beyond the three-point line twice was Hannah Fernandez.
Monique Willingham scored another five points for Sunnyside, and teammate Audi Sanchez had a total of six steals and two points.
The Lady Grizzlies were 8-for-16 from the charity stripe, and provided the Cadets 29 opportunities to score from the free throw line. Eisenhower capitalized on 14 of those attempts.
Saturday's game against 2A Prosser didn't go Sunnyside's way.
The Lady Grizzlies were within four points of the visiting Mustangs at the end of the opening stanza, 16-12, but Prosser whittled away at the Sunnyside defense for a 54-39 victory.
The Mustangs outscored Sunnyside 9-6 in the second quarter to maintain a 25-18 lead. Although the Lady Grizzlies attempted to make a run on Prosser in the third quarter, outscoring the Mustangs 13-12, it wasn't enough.
"We cut the lead to four points in the third quarter, but didn't take advantage of key turnovers in the fourth quarter," said Puente.
Prosser, in the final stanza this past Saturday, outscored Sunnyside 17-8 for the 54-39 win.
Natalia Bazan and Willingham lead the Lady Grizzlies, scoring eight points apiece. Willingham also had six boards.
Fernandez and Rodriguez scored six points each for the Lady Grizzlies. Rodriguez also snatched the ball from the Mustangs six times.
Leading the Lady Grizzlies in steals was Alvarez, who grabbed the ball seven times. She had four assists and scored five points.
Also scoring five points was Vargas.
Fernandez and Vargas scored one basket each from beyond the three-point arc.
Of Saturday's game, Puente said, "I thought we handled the ball better than we did against Ike."
He said the problem Sunnyside faced was in knocking down open shots.
"We also need to be available for second opportunities," Puente said.
The defense, too, has some work ahead of it because Puente said the aggressive play can be both beneficial and a hindrance.
He said Sunnyside created more opportunities for Prosser to make attempts from the charity strip than he would like to see. Of the 28 attempts, 15 were successful.
Sunnyside was 8-for-16 from the free throw line.
Sunnyside will tomorrow (Tuesday) travel to Grandview for another non-league match-up.