YAKIMA “It’s painful. It hurts. And, time will help it. Like I told them, if you hadn’t put in the amount of work and effort that you did, you would have never been here to feel this way.”
— GHS Head Coach Glenn Braman
The Grandview Lady ‘Hounds, No. 16 seed, exemplified their Central Washington Athletic Conference championship season with an unbroken resolve that admirably shined beyond a 52-37 loss to Olympia’s Black Hills Wolves, No. 12, during the WIAA 2A Regional tournament game at Davis High School this past Saturday.
“You can’t be disappointed in the fact that we are here in this moment. But, it’s always a difficult situation when the season and girls’ careers come to an end. And, you know that there are games still out there, which we could have played,” GHS Head Coach Glenn Braman sadly voiced while he reminisced about the team’s magical run.
Senior GHS Michelle Ruiz took the opening game tip-off and drove the ball right to the hoop for the game’s first bucket. Black Hills responded on the first possession and tied the contest at 2-2.
On their ensuing trip down the floor, Ruiz attacked the basket again and this time, kicked the ball out to junior Bailey Duis, who found the bottom of the net on a 3-point field goal. Grandview quickly jumped out to a 5-2 lead within the first minute of play.
The Wolves countered with a 19-4 run over the next 7 minutes and ended the opening quarter leading 21-9.
“It felt amazing knowing that everyone doubted us to be eighth, and we made it this far and won a district championship, it’s unbelievable,” Ruiz proudly stated as she wiped away tears.
Following the emotional loss, Ruiz contemplated that this will probably be the last time she would step onto the court, wear a team jersey and play competitive basketball.
She addressed her teammates in the locker room and reminded them to keep their heads up.
“We’re the ones that are going to be putting up a banner in our gym!”
Beginning the second quarter, the ‘Hounds picked up their defensive intensity to hold Black Hills scoreless for almost four minutes.
Field goals by senior Marin Bender and Ruiz cut the lead to 21-13 and forced the Wolves to call timeout. The 8-point deficit was the closest they would get.
“They made it really, really tough with their length to get anything going to the hoop. We were just a little too inconsistent and weren’t always running our offense, and had too many turnovers,” solemnly voiced Braman.
The ‘Hounds were unable to sustain any offensive rhythm in the second half until the fourth quarter with 6:43 remaining to play.
Junior Andrea Laurean hit a free throw and made a layup to trim the margin to 14 points at 44-30.
After Black Hills called timeout, the Wolves hit a 3-point basket to thwart any comeback attempt.
“Congratulations to our girls for a heck of a season... one of the best ones I’ve been around in a long time,” Braman acknowledged.
The Lady ‘Hounds were led by Ruiz’s 8 points, followed with Laurean and Duis, who also had 7 rebounds, each scoring 7. Senior Karina Fajardo had 5, while Marin Bender and Sierra Ibarra both added 4.
“It’s all about the memories. And, at our school, we’re going to shave Braman’s head for being district champs,” Ruiz quickly responded with a rallying smile.