PULLMAN - It wasn't for a lack of effort or trying...far from it. No, the Grandview High School Greyhounds gave it their all last night, but in the end the Greyhounds from Pullman proved to be too stiff of a challenge.
Playing a Regional cross-over game at Pullman, the Great Northern League's top club this year and currently ranked No. 2 in the state in the 2A ranks with just one loss all season, the Grandview boys basketball team saw its season come to a close. The 67-61 victory Pullman pulled out on its home floor advances Wednesday evening's winners to the Regional finals, slated for this coming Saturday at CWU in Ellensburg.
Grandview concluded the 2012-13 season with an overall mark of 14-10. The first half of the campaign started promising enough, as the 'Hounds bolted out of the gates by winning four of their first six games and eight of their first 12. Grandview, however, never got on a roll at the end of the year. The 'Hounds lost to a mediocre East Valley squad in their regular season finale, a club they swatted away by a 21-point margin in their first go-round, then went just 1-3 in the playoffs.
Last night's loser-out postseason contest was nip-and-tuck throughout. Pullman, despite its lofty state ranking, only had a one-point lead at the half. The home team put a little separation between themselves and Grandview by piecing together a 17-12 scoring spurt in the third quarter. The two clubs went to war in the final stanza, tallying a total of 44 points in the fourth period.
But when the dust cleared, it was Pullman that had outscored the Lower Yakima Valley squad down the stretch, 23-21, to account for the final 67-61 score.
In getting their shots to fall last night, the two teams' styles of play were vastly different.
Pullman, boasting a height advantage, preferred pounding the ball inside. If the shots didn't fall, the Spokane-area club was adept at scooping up the misses and getting a second opportunity to score. All told, Pullman came away with 15 offensive rebounds, compared to just the three offensive boards Grandview collected.
The visitors relied chiefly on launching howitzers. Simply put, Grandview attempted 26 bombs from treyland, as opposed to the 15 three-point shots Pullman got off. The ploy to shoot and score from outside was largely successful, as Grandview Coach Roy Garcia's club drilled 11 of those 26 long-range attempts. Bryce Carpenter (4-for-5) and Andy Rodriguez (4-for-9) had the hottest hand from long range for the visiting 'Hounds. Isaiah Ruiz added a 2-for-6 effort from behind the 3-point arc.
One telling stat that emerged from last night's score sheet was the number of times each team went to the free throw line. Pullman was by far and away the beneficiary of the referees' whistles, as they were awarded 21 foul shots, dropping in 16 of them. Grandview, in comparison, got to the charity stripe just three times, making good on two of them.
The one other glaring statistic that didn't go in Grandview's favor was in the number of times each club coughed up the ball. Pullman forced the visitors into committing 21 turnovers, while only committing 14 of their own.
Each team ended up with four players in double figures in the scoring column.
Pullman got a game-high 19 points, as well as 10 rebounds and two blocks, from Corey Langerveld. Race Martin led all rebounders in the game with 11 caroms gathered in, and he shoved in 16 points for Pullman. A.J. Miles and Tanner Therrien chipped in 13 and 11 points, respectively, for the winners.
Pacing Grandview were Rodriguez and Carpenter with 14 points apiece. Ruiz and Joey Saenz added 12 and 10-point scoring performances, respectively.