Rams rebound

January 7, 2012 by  

Strong effort on boards lifts West Valley past Sunnyside||

YAKIMA, Wash. — Jon Kinloch grew weary of pausing game film with his West Valley boys basketball team over its long holiday break. Especially since most of the pausing came with rebounding at issue.

West Valley's Jalen Peake does up for a shot against Sunnyside n the second quarter of Friday's CBBN 3A basketball game at West Valley.||SARA GETTYS/Yakima Herald-Republic

“I’d stop the tape and ask them, ‘Guys, are we crashing?’ Over and over we could see we weren’t,” said Kinloch, whose team entered the break with a 25-point humbling loss at Hanford. “Tonight they saw what can happen when they make a commitment to crash the boards.”

With Austin Strock’s blue-collar double-double leading that commitment, the Rams charged away in the second half for a 55-48 victory over Sunnyside in CBBN 3A play Friday night at West Valley.

Strock scored of 11 of his 17 points in the third period, igniting West Valley’s slumbering offense for 25 points in the pivotal period. The 6-foot-4 junior forward exerted his presence inside, making it to the foul line five times and scoring twice in a 7-0 run to close the frame.

“We had a good team talk at halftime about what we had to do. Our defense was good but our offense wasn’t,” said Strock, who pulled down 10 rebounds. “In the third quarter we attacked the rim more and got more power shots — on balance and focused.”

Despite yielding 25 points in the third quarter, Sunnyside was within 43-36 with five minutes left in the game. With scoring leader Israel Manzo sitting out the first half and struggling with his shot after the break, Eric Amaro stepped up to exactly counter Strock’s 17 points and 10 rebounds.

But West Valley made its break by scoring on three consecutive possessions in just over a minute, a 7-0 burst that started with Tyler Cluff’s 3-pointer and put the Rams ahead 50-36 with 3:40 to go.

With Jason Dresker hauling down nine rebounds to nearly match Strock, West Valley finished with a 46-36 advantage on the boards.

“That Hanford loss made the holidays tough because we had 16 days off and that’s what we were left with,” Kinloch said. “I’ll admit I was grumpy for quite a while. Some of this was a little ugly tonight, like that first half (16-16), but we made a great effort in the second half.”

Jalen Peake scored all five of his field goals in the second half and finished with 13 points, and Cluff put together 11 points and six rebounds for the Rams (1-2, 5-3), who travel to Pasco today.

West Valley defended Sunnyside’s long-range shooters well. The Grizzlies missed their first 10 shots from 3-point distance before Trey Serl sank one early in the third quarter.

Serl finished with three treys for a majority of his 15 points for Sunnyside (2-1, 7-2), which hosts Eastmont tonight.

Filed under All, Basketball (Boys), Featured Stories, Sunnyside Christian, West Valley


One Response to “Rams rebound”
  1. Parker Jones says:

    Hey Scott. I am a senior at West Valley High School. You should check out my senior project facebook page. I am following the West Valley Rams writing articles for the team throughout the season. The facebook page is called WV Basketball Lead Magazine. I appreciate reading your article today.

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