Lady Griz players make statement with team win

DRIVES THRU DEFENSE — SHS junior Kameran Rodriguez leads the offensive attack, pushing the ball deep into the Lady Panthers’ collapsing defense as the Lady Griz charged to a 27-13 first-quarter lead.

Photo by Patrick Shelby
DRIVES THRU DEFENSE — SHS junior Kameran Rodriguez leads the offensive attack, pushing the ball deep into the Lady Panthers’ collapsing defense as the Lady Griz charged to a 27-13 first-quarter lead.


THREE POINT ACCURACY — SHS senior Chastitee Garza shows off her splash style form from behind the arch in the opening quarter during a home basketball game against Wenatchee Saturday night. Garza scored 17 points and had 5 assists in the 84-49 win.


ALL AROUND PLAYER — SHS senior Ashlee Maldonado travels the length of the court and scores two of her game-high 20 points to compliment a 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 6 steals performance.

— All 10 Sunnyside High School Girls Varsity basketball players contributed in making an impact during the team’s 82-49 homecourt victory over Wenatchee Saturday night.

“I really liked how the girls distributed the ball tonight and got everybody involved and people were ready. That’s one of the things we talk about is everybody coming off the bench that they’re ready to play and they have that mindset,” said SHS Head Coach Rick Puente. “They have that mentality, hey, if I’m coming in, I’m impacting the game in some capacity.”

Fresh off their 68-63 overtime road win at Moses Lake Friday night, the Lady Griz (3-0, Big 9 and 6-1, overall) maintained their momentum and won for the fifth straight time as they sent home the Lady Panthers (0-2, Big 9 and 0-6, overall) starving for their first win.

“We tried pushing the ball a lot more. We worked on transition all last week in practice, and it really helped in these two games,” SHS senior Chastitee Garza, who scored 17 points and had 5 assists, explained. “We’ve been talking about getting everybody involved and playing as one, and I think that’s been really helping us.”

SHS senior Ashlee Maldonado played a complete game as she dominated on both ends of the court and scored 20 points to compliment her 7 boards, 6 assists and 6 steals performance.

Senior Brielle Newhouse steadied the team’s post presence with 6 rebounds.

From the opening tip-off, the Lady Griz started off fast and scored the first 7 points of the contest. About halfway through the first quarter, the Lady Panthers crept within 4 points at 13-9 but would not get any closer. Sunnyside closed out the first quarter on a 14-4 run and led 27-13.

Starting the second quarter in similar fashion, the offense was scoring from all areas on the court and ran off 11 straight points and increased their lead to 36-13 before Wenatchee scored their first field goal with 3:51 remaining in the period. The Lady Panthers scored 12 points to finish the quarter strong as the Lady Griz were up 42-25 at halftime.

Coach Puente was able to call upon his bench early and throughout the game as everyone accepted his challenge to “Impact the Play!” Senior Morgan Duim was one of those players who embodied the team’s motto.

“Morgan had a great night. Hats off to her. She’s been doing some good things in practice. We’ve stayed in her ear. Kept encouraging her and encouraging her… letting her know that her time will come, and boy did she seize the moment tonight. She really got after it and knocked down some shots,” Puente exclaimed.

Duim swished back-to-back 3-point baskets to end the third quarter scoring that earned her a well-deserved standing cheer from the starters on the bench and the Lady Griz were ahead 57-33.

The team converged courtside as Maldonado was the first one to congratulate Duim with an enthusiastic pat-on-the-back and words of continued encouragement.

“I just wanted to really produce and not just be another girl to put in. I really wanted to make a statement for the time that I got,” Duim said. “It’s nice to hear your teammates cheering for you, and I know that I would do the same for them. So, it’s nice to see them do the same for me.”


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