Rollercoaster weekend for girls hoops

Maldonado sets scoring mark for Grizzlies

Madi Candanoza of Sunnyside Christian seeks out a teammate for the pass.

Photo by Jennie McGhan
Madi Candanoza of Sunnyside Christian seeks out a teammate for the pass.

— Two local teams suffered heartbreaking losses Friday.

Sunnyside Christian lost its third girls basketball game of the season to DeSales, and Sunnyside High School lost its first game of the season to Moses Lake.

Granger and Prosser won their Friday games, while Grandview, Mabton and Bickleton lost.

The loss for the Knights had them going into Saturday’s game against Klickitat ranked No. 12 in the state Rating Percentage Index. Colton was No. 1 in 1B girls basketball.

The Grizzlies’ loss left them with an 8-1 league record, 15-1 overall and a No. 2 ranking in the 4A classification to Bothell (16-2). Moses Lake was ranked No. 3 after the Friday win against Sunnyside.

The Grizzlies won Saturday on a night Emilee Maldonado set the all-time scoring record for the girls program. Jordan Rodriguez previously held the record with 1,279 career points.

The Spartans were No. 4 in 1A rankings after Friday’s game, Prosser was No. 5 in 2A, and Mabton was ranked No. 11 in 2B girls hoops.

Five of the teams won their Saturday match-ups. The Greyhounds and Pirates stories are here.

Sunnyside Christian

The 1B Knights were defeated, 35-40, by 2B DeSales Friday. The following night they dispatched Klickitat, 65-15.

The only other teams to disarm Sunnyside Christian this season were LaSalle and Lynden Christian, both 1A teams.

Friday’s game, however, was a tale of the Knights beating themselves. They committed 37 turnovers via bad passes.

“DeSales was very aggressive, very quick,” Sunnyside Christian coach Al Smeenk said, giving a nod to the Irish.

DeSales capitalized on the turnovers and the Knights caused themselves more difficulty via foul troubles.

“We just didn’t play very smart,” Smeenk said.

Alyssa Martin led the scoring effort with 12 points. She also had 9 boards.

Kristen Broersma scored 6 points, had 11 rebounds and 6 blocks; and Madi Candanoza scored 8 points.

Against Klickitat, Broersma had a game high 15 points, Martin scored 12 and Sailor Liefke tallied 10.

Smeenk said the trio played the first three quarters only.


The Grizzlies fell 45-48 to Moses Lake Friday and won their game against Eisenhower, 64-38.

The game against the Chiefs was one Sunnyside knew would be challenging, coach Rick Puente said.

“Their gym is tough to play,” he said. “We knew it would be hard-fought.”

The game came down to who would shoot the last bucket — Moses Lake.

Sunnyside started the game with a 15-9 lead, but the Chiefs scrambled to outshoot the Grizzlies 13-9 in the second to draw within 2 points at the half.

Moses Lake held off Sunnyside’s offense in the third quarter, outshooting the Grizzlies 12-7. Sunnyside rallied and each team scored 14 points in the final stanza.

“Somebody’s gotta lose,” Puente said. “Unfortunately, it was us.”

The team didn’t let the loss become a deterrent Saturday, and defeated the Cadets handily.

The Grizzlies outshot Eisenhower from the beginning. The first quarter ended in a score of 18-8 and the momentum continued through all four quarters.

The game was capped off with Maldonado breaking Rodriguez’s all-time career scoring record.

“It was an overall team effort,” Puente said.

Maldonado scored 11 points against the Chiefs and 15 against the Cadets. Her sister, Ashlee Maldonado, scored 16 points Friday, 12 Saturday.


The Spartans handed Highland a 69-35 loss Friday and won, 55-49, against LaSalle on Saturday.

Against the Scotties, Granger took 13-11 first-quarter lead and continued its defensive pressure, holding the visitors to just 5 points in the second.

The Spartans led 35-16 at the half.

The hosts didn’t slow down on offense during the second half, scoring another 34 points and allowing their opponents 19.

Leading the charge were Alexis Castro and Lily Stewart with 18 and 16 points, respectively. Castro hit two 3-pointers and teammates Sophie Blodgett and Jayleen Vasquez scored three treys apiece to account for their combined 18-point contribution.

Yvette Lopez was the leading score for the Scotties with 12 points — 9 points from beyond the 3-point arc.

Against the Lightning, the Spartans fell behind three points in the first quarter and each of the teams tallied 11 points in the second, giving LaSalle a 27-24 halftime lead.

The teams each scored 14 points in the third stanza. Granger, however, pulled away by outscoring the Lightning 17-8 in the final stanza to clinch the win.

Leading with a game high 34 points was Castro — 15 from treyland. The remainder of the Spartans remained in single digits.


The Mustangs defeated Selah, 45-40, and followed that with Saturday’s 63-49 loss to Wapato.

Friday, Prosser opened with a 12-9 first-quarter lead and outscored the visitors 11-4 in the second. Selah had an 11-7 advantage in the third and clinched the win with a 15-16 fourth quarter score.

Adriel Willis scored a game-high 13 points for Selah. Teammate Rilie Wilkey tallied 12.

Prosser’s Marissa Cortez and Brooke Wheeler each scored 12 points.

Coach Kyler Bachofner did not report stats following the loss to the Wolves.


The Vikings lost 45-54 in overtime to White Swan on Friday, but bounced back Saturday to defeat Tri-City Prep, 65-46.

“We started really flat and that surprised me,” Mabton coach Chris McCallum said in response to the loss to the Cougars.

“Playing White Swan, I thought the girls would come out with a little more fire.”

The Cougars outscored Mabton 13-9 in the first quarter, the Vikings rallied to outscore their host 10-7 in the second to draw to within 1-point (19-20) at the half.

“The next three quarters, they made up for it,” McCallum said of the second through fourth quarter effort.

“Effort and intensity really picked up,” he said.

Mabton outscored its host 8-7 in the third. Each team chipped in 15 points in the fourth stanza and the game was tied 42-all at the end of regulation.

In the overtime period, the Cougars’ defense held the Vikings to just 3 points, while the offense tallied 12.

“Yes, we lost, and yes, we blew a 6-point lead with 1:30 in the game,” McCallum said. “Yes, we were 8-of-22 from the foul line; yes, we had 32 turnovers, and if you look at those numbers, you would think we would have lost by 20 points.”

Two were in double digit scoring for Mabton — Britnee Guerrero with 20 points and Caitlin Rojas with 10.

Astrid Galarza collected 12 boards.

Jessica Cheney of the Cougars scored 19 points and teammate Ashley Anderson scored 18.

The Jaguars on Saturday were equally matched with the Vikings, each team tallying 10 points in the first quarter. Mabton surged ahead with a 25-6 second-quarter tally to lead 35-16 at halftime.

Guerrero and Kassandra Hernandez led the Vikings with 15 points apiece. Rojas and Noemi Galarza tallied 12 each. Galarza also had 5 boards and 5 steals.

Mabton, despite committing 24 turnovers, came out on top.


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