KENNEWICK - A change in strategy is credited for the Lady Grizzly victory over Kennewick this past Saturday.
Sunnyside defeated the Lions 62-53, avenging a 62-58 loss from earlier this season.
Lady Grizzly Coach Rick Puente said his team exercised patience on offense that led to several great scoring opportunities.
"We had some wide open shots and layups...we allowed some sets to get deep into the shot clock," he said.
Sunnyside took an early 13-6 lead in the opening quarter and maintained the momentum throughout the game.
At halftime, the Lady Grizzlies had a 24-17 lead, and edged the Lions by a point (18-17) in the third stanza.
The final quarter went Sunnyside's way, too. The Lady Grizzlies outscored Kennewick 20-19.
"We led (the Lions) into defensive breakdowns...although the urgency to score and force shots was there, we continued to keep Kennewick on its toes, switching our offensive plays," said Puente.
Contributing to the victory was the Lady Grizzly defensive strategy, which was also adjusted regularly to limit the Lions' leading scorer, Angelique Whistocken.
Puente said she scored 32 points when the two teams last met, but was limited to 10 points this past Saturday.
"We have some girls who are quick and some who are very physical...we kept switching them to limit her (Whitstocken) scoring," Puente said.
The defensive strategy was new to the Sunnyside girls, but the coach said his team responded well and that response contributed greatly to the team's success.
"It was a team effort...the Lady Grizzlies performed at a high level," said Puente.
He said Sunnyside's victory makes the CBBN league interesting because his team is now in a four-way tie for third place, "which is exciting."
Puente said the Lady Grizzlies have a lot of momentum going into the rescheduled game tonight (Monday) against Southridge. Sunnyside (4-4, 7-7) hosts the Suns and has hopes of securing its second victory of the season against them.