AC Davis Delivers Statement 76-70 Win over Sunnyside
A very casual Coach Siebol was asked in the pre-game how he planned to stop 6-7 Davis forward Collin Kelley.
"I don't know, it'll be interesting. We've played some pretty good defense this year, but Kelley is going to be the best player we've played against," said the Sunnyside head coach with a chuckle.
It turned out to be the deciding factor. Collin Kelley electrified with 28 points, 15 rebounds, and 5 momentum-changing blocks.
The modern AC davis gym was packed almost to capacity Friday night. Everyone wanted to know who the better undefeated team was. Between the perennial powerhouse Davis Pirates (3-0), and the team on the rise Sunnyside Grizzlies (6-0).
Davis got off to a smoking start in the first quarter, finishing with a 21-9 lead. The quarter was highlighted by an arena-shaking Collin Kelley dunk.
"I didn't want to lose the ball because I fumbled it when I got it, then I thought what should I do? I ended up going with a simple one," said Kelley on his big play.
Sunnyside would not go down quietly. Between their two senior guards Art Palacios and Trey Sanchez, five 3-pointers were poured in the second quarter. This cut the deficit to 38-30 at halftime.
Behind the continued hot shooting of Palacios and Sanchez, Davis lead was trimmed to 42-39 with five minutes left in the third quarter.
The decision was made by Davis head coach Eli Juarez to put in sophomore Earl Lee. The 6-1 guard would jump-start Davis' offense with five quick point to extend their lead to 47-39.
"The coaches told me to go in there and shoot if I'm open, and then get back on defense," said Lee on what changed when he went in.
Davis would carry the momentum into the fourth quarter, where they found themselves up 69-62 with 3:43 left in the game. Having been down the entire game, hope seemed to be lost for Sunnyside.
Until suddenly a new hero emerged; Sunnyside's 6-2 senior forward Ismael Zavala, who chipped in six points as part of an inspired 8-2 Sunnyside run.
The score was now Davis 71 Sunnyside 70 with 19 seconds left in the game. Davis possessed the ball, but only with 12 seconds left on the shot clock.
Collin Kelley took the in-bounds pass and immediately drove to the basket with three Sunnyside jersey's swarming in on him for the lay-up. After a desperate Sunnyside three fell short, Davis walked away from the ashes with a 76-70 victory.
"The play we called was base blue," said Coach Juarez in the postgame, "It was either going to be Kelley driving, or he kicks it out to Alexzander Delgado. But I think they had already made up their mind that Kelley was going to take it."
"I was going to take it no matter what," said Kelley afterwards.
Davis is now 4-0, in first place, and just beat arguably their biggest in-conference competition in Sunnyside. But Coach Juarez emphasized there's still a heavy dose of unknown surrounding Davis.
"We're still featuring five or six guys. Our starting five probably played 85% of the time tonight. Tomorrow we go on the road to Wenatchee, and that'll be a chance for those guys that didn't play to establish themselves."
And as feel good as this victory was, don't get Coach Juarez started on whether he thinks their amidst a "dream season."
"It's always nice going into a game with two unbeatens, then all of a sudden you get the victory. But we also recognize there's still a lot of basketball left between now and where we want to be. Dream seasons are kind of made throughout the season, to say it's a dream season now is probably not a good thing to say!" Said a light-hearted Coach Juarez.
Sunnyside (6-1) will recollect quickly as they head to Moses Lake (2-2) Saturday night 7:30pm. They will look to continue what they hope is their own dream season.
Davis will make the 115-mile trek to to play Wenatchee High (2-2) this Saturday 7:30pm. They hope to face a much less dramatic game, as they get a chance to showcase their young talent.