‘Lady Grizz’ hoops to begin season on Thursday

FINISHING STRONG - SHS Junior Kameran Rodriguez utilizes her ball handling talents and drives strong to the basket during the three-team jamboree at Grandview High School on Monday.

Photo by Jennie McGhan
FINISHING STRONG - SHS Junior Kameran Rodriguez utilizes her ball handling talents and drives strong to the basket during the three-team jamboree at Grandview High School on Monday.



— “We’re definitely excited. We have a lot of experience coming back. The first week of practice has been awesome,” Sunnyside High School Girls Basketball Head Coach Rick Puente said before Friday afternoon’s practice.

The coaching staff stressed fundamentals, which meant getting better at the intangibles. They emphasized the essential elements of winning basketball on both sides of the ball.

“We have to be more fundamentally sound on what we do on both offense and defense,” Puente stated. “They’re working hard right now and getting better every day.”

Lady Grizz players spent almost an hour working on their defensive prowess.

On the other side of ball, coach Puente is initiating an offense designed to get a lot of shots up. An up-tempo philosophy, which his players will be called upon to utilize their ball handling talents and finish strong at the basket.

“We have to be sound in what we do and those are some of the things we’ve been talking to the girls about. And, they’re really buying into it,” he said.

All seven seniors returning from last year’s team have set goals for themselves and are extremely motivated to achieve those long-term objectives of winning league and district titles, as well as looking toward advancing further in the post season this year.

“We like to keep them humble and grounded and focused on the game in front of us. We use the terminology 1 and 0 and not looking past that one that’s right in front of us,” the Coach stated. “We’ll do everything we can to prepare and be successful to compete every night and achieve that end result they’ve been striving for.”

There are about 15 girls trying to land a few varsity positions, and the coaching staff will be having to make some tough decisions as they prepare for those hardcore evaluations, which began during the three-team jamboree at Grandview High School on Monday.

“On any given day or any given drill, you see something that those 15 girls just stand out with in their play. It’s fun — it’s a great situation to be in because you know you’ve got 15 girls that you can go to and have the ability to play at that level,” Puente said.

At 5:45 p.m. Thursday evening, the Lady Grizz will tip off their basketball season with a home opening game against Walla Walla with the boys game to follow.



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