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SHS boys earn first victory

BOYS PREP BASKETBALL

The seventh time was the charm for the Sunnyside Grizzly boys basketball team in securing its first win of the season last Saturday.

Sunnyside rallied for a 59-56 victory over visiting Moses Lake to improve its overall season record to 1-6, 1-3 in CBBN play.

“I’m super proud of the effort they gave, from the starters to the guys off of the bench,” said Sunnyside Coach Geoff LaBrant. “It was a complete team effort.”

With the Grizzlies clinging to a 12-10 lead after one quarter, the Chiefs went on a 17-9 run in the second stanza to build a 27-21 advantage at the half.

Moses Lake, which dropped to 4-2 on the season according to Maxpreps.com, pushed its lead to double digits early in the third quarter.

“Our boys rallied, played together on offense and really took a strong defensive stand,” LaBrant said of Sunnyside’s comeback, which brought the Grizzlies to within a point, 40-39, heading into the final eight minutes.

Sunnyside sustained its momentum into the final quarter and led by as many as 10 points until Moses Lake tried to rally late.

LaBrant attributed his team’s ability to hold on to the lead to the fact the Grizzlies played with confidence and “smart, heads-up basketball” down the stretch.

As for getting back into the game, especially following Moses Lake’s third-quarter run, the Grizzlies emphasized running offensive sets each trip down the floor, said LaBrant.

Isaiah Fernandez was a dynamo for Sunnyside on the offensive side of the ball, tallying 25 points to go with five assists and three steals. LaBrant noted that Fernandez did most of his scoring in the second half.

He said playing “good help defense” also played a key part in helping Sunnyside earn its first W of the 2013-14 campaign.

“We covered their shooters well, and had some great defense from our posts on their inside players,” he said, praising the defensive play of Marcus Sanchez, Joel Ortega and James Voorhies.

Ortega was the other Grizzly in double figures Saturday night with 12 points in addition to a team-high 11 rebounds.

Sanchez also helped Sunnyside in the paint by hauling down six boards to go with four points.

Other key contributors to Saturday’s big win were Leo Palacios with 5 points, Estevan Salmeron with 4 points and a pair of rebounds, as well as Angel Garza with 4 points and three rebounds – including a key 3-point play late in the game.

Ray Sotelo and Voorhies added 3 and 2 points, respectively, for the Grizzlies.

Saturday’s victory was preceded the night before by a 57-39 loss at Ike on Friday, giving the Cadets their first win of the season, according to Maxpreps.

Sunnyside hosts Prosser on Friday, Jan. 3, following the winter holidays.

LaBrant said ending the calendar year with a win was a big lift heading into the rest of the season.

“All in all, these guys have worked hard this season, and will continue to do so, and this win was well deserved,” he said. “They are coming together with the mentality that cohesion and team game comes from the ideals of family.”

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