Photo by Patrick Shelby
EMOTIONS POUR OUT — GHS senior Michelle Ruiz became the seventh player to join the Lady ‘Hounds’ exclusive scoring class as she scored a game-high 21 points last Thursday night. The sharp shooting wing player hit the 1,000-point mark with 1:28 left in the game on a driving layup before an admiring audience of family, friends, former and present teammates.
As of Wednesday, January 2, 2019
GRANDVIEW As Michelle Ruiz sat uncomfortably on the bench in foul trouble late in the third quarter, the Lady ‘Hounds’ scorer was not reminiscing about the first basket she scored as a freshman.
The senior’s fierce focus was on leading her team back from a double digit, fourth quarter deficit to Prosser as she scored her 1000th point in the waning moments of Thursday night’s rivalry home game.
Entering the game against the Lady ‘Stangs, Ruiz needed 18 points to become the seventh player to join the Lady ‘Hounds’ exclusive scoring class. She scored a game-high 21 points and led a furious fourth quarter rally as the Lady Mustangs held fast to defeat Grandview, 63-55.
“Right when we were shaking hands and I looked up and saw my little sister holding the 1,000th point sign… I didn’t know that I hit it and looked over at my parents, and yeah, I did,” Ruiz confirmed. “I couldn’t have done it without my teammates. The assists, rebounds and pass backs.”
At 1:28 left in the game, Ruiz drove the lane and hit a layup for her 18th and 19th point to pull her team within 7. After Prosser freshman Leila Taylor made a free throw, Ruiz, the newest member of the GHS girls 1K club, converted another layup and the Lady ‘Hounds were down 61-55 with 1:15 remaining. About a minute later, PHS senior Marissa Cortes sunk two free throws to put the game out of reach.
“There’s five really good teams in this league. You’ve got to have it every night. We didn’t have our best game tonight, and that’s ok. We can learn from it and get better. We’re going see them down the road again,” GHS Head Coach Glenn Braman stated.
Prosser High School (7-2, 2A Central Washington Athletic Conference and 7-2, overall) were led by seniors Abby Rodriguez with 20 and Marissa Cortes with 16 points, while sophomore Alexis Harris netted 8 and freshman Halle Wright added 7.
The Lady Mustangs started out the game fast and raced to a 50-33 early fourth quarter lead. Their defense held Grandview to 22 of 69 field goal attempts, 31% shooting from the field and 1 of 11, 9%, from the 3-point line. They were 10-of-14 from the charity stripe.
Coach Braman noted how impressed he was with the visiting team’s offensive transition game and their ability to beat his team down the floor.
“We didn’t score the ball very well in the first half. We missed a bunch of bunnies right around the basket,” Braman expressed.
Grandview High School (7-2, 2A CWAC and 9-2, overall) was paced by Ruiz’s record-setting night, while junior Bailey Duis contributed 12 points, senior Karina Fajardo tallied 8 and junior Andrea Laurean chipped in 7.
Fajardo was a rebounding force and led GHS on both the offensive and defensive side with 13 and 8 boards. Her aggressive play helped to ignite the comeback in which the Lady ‘Hounds outrebounded the Mustangs 22-9 and 24-22.
“We might have won 9 games already, but I don’t feel like we’ve played our best basketball yet. And, I’ve told them all year that you don’t want to play your best basketball until the last 4 or 5