The Sunnyside Grizzly girls basketball team has been to at least the regional round of the state tournament every year since 2015 and six of the past seven, but can this year’s team beat the 4th place finish of the 2014 squad?
Coach Rick Puente says they look really good. “We have a lot of returners coming back. They’re still hungry.”
He said they had a real challenge with the spring season that lasted until mid-June with a lot of the kids tired and out of their normal routine.
“It was a grind last year,” according to Puente. “This gets them back to a little bit of normalcy.”
Now they are back in the gyms with a long season in front of them. “We want to go out and compete every night,” says Puente. “Control what we can control and let the results take care of themselves.”
He said they have a good core of girls on the team and he’s looking to get them to trust what they do on both sides of the floor.
Returning to the team are all-league players Paris Wilson and Benemi Sanchez, but Puente expects Mia Hernandez and Alyna Ramirez to make big contributions along with all the seniors.
“This is the year that they’ve been waiting for,” according to coach Puente.
He also expects the younger players on the team to drive the seniors to improve or push for playing time.
The season officially gets underway Saturday, Nov. 27 with a jamboree in Toppenish. They’ll play rival Grandview on Tuesday, Nov. 30.
The first home game is Dec. 7 against Kennewick and the first league game is Dec. 11 at home against Moses Lake.