Zillah Safely Beats Kittitas 72-56 in Battle of State Champs
A lot of dream match-ups are happening right now at the Yakima Valley SunDome.
As part of the SunDome Shootout, some of Washington's most elite schools have descended on Yakima to compete in rare, must see match-ups.
Few games were more anticipated than Zillah vs Kittitas. Televised live in front of thousands of households across the state, and an estimated 1200 rabid fans in attendance; the lights were bright for this Thursday Night classic.
"When we put this tournament on, we knew there was going to be a great crowd, especially with two state champs going against each other," said a joyous Coach Mengarelli in the post-game, "we were expecting a great game, and it lived up to that."
In surprising fashion, Zillah found themselves up 27-14 midway through the second quarter.
This was largely due to the neutralization of Kittitas star Brock Ravet.
A man that's averaged 30 points a game for several years now. Brock was limited to just four points mid-way through the second quarter.
"We were throwing a new guy at him every time, switching up on defense. Whatever it took to get the ball out of his hands," Said Zillah guard Antonio Salinas.
Kittitas would find their mark late in the second quarter. An 11 point run made the score a respectable 33-27 at the half.
It was a tale of two teams going in opposite directions in the second half.
Zillah opted to go with an evenly distributed offensive game-plan, with eight players checking in the scoring column.
Kittitas would continue to run their offense through Brock Ravet.
You can probably guess which team won the second half.
Ravet kept his team within striking distance with 15 second half points, but the wheels would start to fall off.
Zillah's 19-7 run early in the fourth quarter put the dagger in any Kittitas comeback hope, coasting to a 72-56 victory.
When asked what performance's stood out to him, Coach Mengarelli had particular high praise for junior shooting guard Brock Ellis.
"Brock Ellis had a huge game for us, he got beat up big time. He finished with a bloody nose, a bloody tooth, and a bloody thumb. Yet he still led us in points."
Other notable performances include Cesar Diaz (16), Antonio Salinas (15), and Weston Ide (9).
An even-keeled Brock Ravet, who finished with 29 points, gave a tribute to Zillah in the post-game.
"We definitely learned something from this one. Zillah is a great team, they played fast and physical. They came out and surprised us for sure."
The season continues for both teams Friday December 29th as Zillah faces Mark Morris (4-2), While Kittitas squares up against Morton (7-1).