YAKIMA – Saturday’s loss to Grandview in the game for fourth and sixth places at the State 2A basketball tournament was a matter of perspective for West Valley coach Jay Humphrey.
“When you’re picked fourth in your league and you finish sixth in the state, that’s a great deal,” he said minutes after the Eagles (23-5) lost to Grandview 55-45 in the SunDome. “It’s a little tough for them now, but for these kids to place sixth is terrific.”
The win for Grandview kept a state tournament trophy streak alive at 15 and avenged a loss to West Valley in the regional round two weeks ago.
The early perspective had to be something of a nightmare for Humphrey. Grandview took an 11-0 lead in the first 4 minutes.
The Greyhounds extended the lead to 15 soon thereafter. Nothing West Valley could put together on offense could get the deficit down inside six points. This despite Grandview’s late-season bent toward drifting away from a bombs-away first-half mindset and trying to milk the clock in the second period.
Senior Brady Bagby and freshman Jake Love, who were both voted to the all-tournament second team, did their utmost to narrow the margin. Bagby was firing from long range – hitting four 3-pointers that were well outside the 3-point line – and Love hit a pair out of West Valley’s total of eight. But the Eagles hit just 33 percent of their overall attempts from the field, making just six baskets from inside the 3-point line.
“We were sluggish at the start, no doubt about it,” Humphrey said. “We talked to them about this and reminded them we do this all the time in the summer.
“For Grandview, it doesn’t matter if it’s eight in the morning or eight at night. They’re ready.”
When Love hit a 3-pointer from the top of the circle with 27 seconds left in the third period, cutting Grandview’s lead to 37-31, it appeared as though the Eagles were ready to make a game of it. But Daniel Nielsen answered with a 3-pointer for Grandview off an assist from Adrian Reyes and the margin was nine points going into the final period.
Bagby finished with 19 points and seven rebounds. Love had 11 points and six rebounds.