2018-19 Team Preview: Sunnyside Grizzlies
SF Derrick Escamilla - Above all else, Escamilla will be looked at as a team leader this season. He’s one of just a handful of seniors, and is the only returning All League performer. Just like on the football field, Escamilla plays defense at an elite level.
SG Daniel Singleterry - One of the top newcomers ready to breakout. Was on varsity last year, so he has a good grasp on the system. Somebody has to do the scoring on this team, and he’ll be one of them.
PF/C Alexis Espinoza - Brings much needed size to the team. There’s nothing but positives from having a 6-7 big guy on your roster. Will be heavily leaned on for rebounds and stout defense.
The first thing you need to know about the 18-19 Sunnyside Grizzlies is this is a very young team. With how many underclassmen expected to contribute, it may be the youngest in the Big Nine.
No longer will it be a two man show like it was at times last year with stars Art Palacios and Trey Sanchez. Expect a lot of rotating early, as head coach Bruce Siebol tries to figure out what works best.
Siebol is only in his second year as Sunnyside’s coach, but has done a remarkable job getting the Grizzlies on the map.
A team that just a couple years ago was 1-19, suddenly become a state finalist with a 19-4 record last year.
With not a lot of experience returning, senior Derrick Escamilla appears to be the guy to build around. He was a key part to last year’s state title push, so he knows how to handle the big moments.
The closest thing to a scoring duo Sunnyside could have will be with sophomores Daniel Singleterry and Ethan Copeland.
Both are exciting young prospects that could blossom into superstars if guided at the right pace. Definitely guards that can average 20 points each down the line.
Once again there won’t be a whole lot of size to go around the Big Nine, sp this should make Alexis Espinoza an even bigger x-factor. His sheer presence adds value to all defensive sets.
A junior making a comeback to the team is 5-11 guard Arik Palacios. He wasn’t able to play last year due to a football injury, but is looking like a full go this season. He should bring a spark off the bench in any scenario.
Junior forward Gabe Oswalt is another guy that’s been carving out a role for himself. He bring good size off the bench at 6-2 and competes as hard as anyone.
Projection: The general consensus of the Big Nine is there’s a lot of parity going around. There’s certainly no screaming D1 prospect hunting through Central Washington gyms. There may be growing pains early on as new faces adjust to the bright lights; It certainly doesn’t help they’ll be opening up against unknowns like Hanford and Walla Walla. This team should continue to see their stock rise throughout the season. If they catch fire at the right time, another playoff berth is absolutely in the cards.
@ West Valley 1/18
For more Eastside Basketball previews, follow me on Twitter! @micah_chen