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Grizzlies rally for first win

In an up-and-down game throughout, it was Sunnyside that ended up on the positive side of the scoreboard in an edge-of-your-seat 61-60 win at Davis last Friday.

The Grizzly boys hoop team led 14-11 after one quarter and clung to a 32-31 lead at the half.

Momentum swung the Pirates' way in the fourth quarter, as Davis built a six-point lead with just three minutes to play.

It was then that Coach Ron Rowe and the Grizzlies switched to a pressing defense. The strategy worked, forcing Davis to turn the ball over on four consecutive trips up the court.

The result was a Sunnyside surge that put the Grizzlies up by five in the final minute or so.

Back came Davis, though, cutting the deficit to one and Sunnyside was only able to breathe a sigh of relief when the Pirates misfired on a 60-foot desperation heave in the final seconds.

"It was a big win Friday," said Rowe. "Any time you can beat Davis at Davis it's always a good win."

Sunnyside was able to eke out the win with help from a game-high 23 points tallied by Cody Fernandez.

Though the Grizzlies as a team shot just 30 percent from the field, Fernandez's aim was true as he connected on 8-of-15 attempts from the field, including 3-of-6 from three-point range. The rest of the Grizzlies combined to go just 1-of-15 from behind the arc.

Greg Spini was the other Grizzly in double figures Friday with 10 points to go with four rebounds. Fernandez added five boards - four off the offensive glass - but it was Sunnyside's Brandon Daley who came up especially big in the paint by climbing the ladder for 12 boards.

Trey Serl chipped in eight points, six rebounds and two steals for the Grizzlies.

"We did some really good things defensively," Rowe said. "Offensively we played well. There was a lot of good passing, making that extra pass to get our players open for some good looks."

Rowe added, "There were good contributions by a lot of players on our team."

After earning its first win of the 2012-13 season on Friday, in its league opener to boot, Sunnyside was unable to sustain the momentum at Wenatchee last Saturday in a 61-41 loss to the hosts.

The Grizzlies actually led 12-10 after the first period, but had no answer for a 34-14 run Wenatchee enjoyed during the second and third quarters.

Down seven at the half, 29-22, the Grizzlies were especially hampered in the third quarter when they were outscored 15-4 as Wenatchee essentially put the game away.

"We battled well in the first half, but in the third quarter we just didn't get started," Rowe said of the pivotal third frame. "That pretty much made it real tough to battle with them. We were getting some good looks but the ball wasn't dropping. Our inability to score some buckets at crucial times hurt us."

Wenatchee was able to ice the game at the free throw line, canning 16-of-21 charity attempts. The Grizzlies made just five trips to the free line, making good on three tries.

Another key advantage for the hosts was under the basket, where they enjoyed a 39-25 rebounding advantage.

Greg Spini was the lone Grizzly in double figures, tallying 12 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the field. The rest of Sunnyside's line-up had a chilly shooting night, connecting on only 12-of-41 attempts. Spini also collected four rebounds.

Daley was again Sunnyside's leader in the paint with five boards to go with six points and two steals. Daley shared rebounding honors with Sergio Lugo, who also collected five rebounds.

Sunnyside (1-1, 1-3) is home tomorrow, Tuesday, against East Valley for a non-league contest.

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