Sometimes, even your best is not enough.
Jordan Thomas scored 23 points and the Hermiston girls put forth one of their best efforts Saturday night, but Sunnyside held onto beat the Bulldogs 51-46 in a nonleague game at the Dawg House.
“Sunnyside is really good,” Hermiston coach Juan Rodriguez said. “I was pleased, to say the least. I was pleased with our defensive effort. That is the best we have played against a really good team.”
The 6-foot-4 Thomas scored 15 of her points in the first half as the Bulldogs (4-5 overall) led 13-10 after the first quarter.
Sunnyside (7-1) came back with a 20-10 run in the second quarter to put a little space between itself and Hermiston.
The Grizzlies trailed 23-21 with 1:30 to play in the second quarter, then scored the final nine points for a 30-23 halftime lead.
“We lost to a good team, and other than that last minute of the second quarter, we controlled the game,” Rodriguez said. “We played our tempo. We had chances to win.”
Sunnyside led by as many as 10 points twice in the third quarter, getting six points from Brielle Newhouse.
In the fourth, the Bulldogs got 3-pointers from Jazlyn Romero and Jayden Ray to trim the Grizzlies’ lead to 47-43, and a free throw from Thomas cut the lead to three points.
Down 49-46, Thomas and Romero missed back-to-back shots off the glass with 25 seconds remaining. A turnover with 9 seconds left, and two free throws by Ashlee Maldonado with 5 seconds left on the clock, took away any hope of a win for the Bulldogs.
“It’s good way to end our mini season,” Rodriguez said. “It’s a good time to take a break. We have some tough games coming up after Christmas.”
Romero added 10 points for the Bulldogs, while Ray had seven.
Newhouse and Maldonado each had 14 points for the Grizzlies, while Cameron Rodriguez chipped in 12 points.