MOSES LAKE - A 23-10 second quarter surge was just enough as the Sunnyside Grizzlies held on for a 59-55 win at Moses Lake last Friday to wrap up regular season play.
Greg Spini sparked the second stanza rally with 11 of his game-high 25 points.
"We came in knowing it would be a tough game," said Coach Ruben Fernandez. "We knew it would be their senior night and the place was jammed packed!"
After Moses Lake grabbed a 13-9 lead in the first quarter, Fernandez praised the Grizzlies for matching the Chiefs' intensity and blocking out well on the boards.
For the game, Sunnyside was only outrebounded 28-to-26, with Spini hauling down 11 boards.
But Sunnyside wasn't out of the woods Friday night, far from it, as in the third quarter Trey Serl rolled his ankle and left the game. Sunnyside's leading scorer this season, Serl left the game with 12 points and three assists and never returned.
"I wasn't sure how we would react and I didn't want to risk sending Trey back into the game," Fernandez said. "I give a lot of credit to our seniors (Spini, Brandon Daley, Eric Amaro, Eduardo Salmeron and Sergio Lugo) for holding down the ship with Trey on the bench."
Daley, for example, had the late-game awareness to get the ball to a hot hand, Cody Fernandez, who canned 7-of-8 free throw attempts in the final minutes to clinch the win. Fernandez tallied 15 points for the game.
For his part, Salmeron ran the offense and dished out three assists to go with a pair of steals, a blocked shot and a deflection. "He did a great job of making sure Greg was getting the ball inside," Fernandez said.
Amaro was a presence in the paint for Sunnyside with five rebounds and four points in just 18 minutes of action.
Lugo made the most of his game time, hauling down two rebounds in two minutes of play.
"Sergio gave us good spot minutes and good defense when we needed to give guys a break and when Eric (Amaro) picked up two fouls in the first quarter," Fernandez said.
Sunnyside (6-9, 8-12) now plays a loser-out playoff game tomorrow, Tuesday, in Spokane at Shadle Park.