A last-second 3-pointer by Ryne Andreason sent Saturday’s game into overtime, and the 6-foot-3 senior added eight points in the extra session as Hermiston eked out a 75-71 nonleague win over Sunnyside at the Dawg House.
“I felt like we were wearing ugly Christmas sweaters there for a while,” Hermiston coach Casey Arstein said. “We didn’t have the best start, but it’s nice to get a win going into the break.”
Andreason finished with a game-high 29 points, while Cesar Ortiz added 23, including three 3-pointers.
“We were pretty tired from Hanford (on Friday), but we came out on top,” Ortiz said. “We have a lot to work on. Richland is up next, and they are pretty good.”
Trailing the entire game since leading 2-0, Hermiston (8-1, 4-1 MCC) took a 52-50 lead with 35 seconds left in the third quarter on a basket by Andrew James, and Ortiz drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key for a 55-50 lead.
James scored nine of his 15 points in the third, and Ortiz also had nine as the Bulldogs went on a 24-11 run to get back in the game.
A bucket by Jordan Ramirez to open the fourth quarter extended Hermiston’s lead to 57-50, but the Grizzlies were relentless.
Sunnyside (2-7) went on an 8-1 run to tie the score at 58-58, then jumped out to a 64-58 lead on a basket by Alex Lopez with 1:03 left in regulation.
Ramirez hit the front end of a one-and-one, and Andreason followed with a pair of free throws to pull the Bulldogs within 64-61 with 28 seconds left.
Hermiston then pressured the Grizzlies when they inbounded the ball, and got a 10-second violation called against Sunnyside to get possession of the ball.
Andreason drained a 3 from the top of the key with 2.6 seconds remaining to knot the score at 64-64.
“We have a couple of sets that give us multiple options,” Arstein said. “We executed decent, and Ryno hit a nice shot.”
Andreason and James sealed the win when James put his quarterback skills to work with a three-quarter court pass to Andreason, who finished with an easy layup.
“We executed in the end, and our intensity was up,” Arstein said. “I was proud our kids kept their heads up. We saw what we need to work on the next 13 days — offense, defense and rebounding.”
The thriller followed a letdown on Friday, as Hermiston fell 74-62 to Hanford for its first MCC loss.
Connor Woodward scored a game-high 31 points as the Falcons knocked the Bulldogs from the unbeaten ranks.
“Hanford punched us in the mouth,” Hermiston coach Casey Arstein said. “We didn’t play very well defensively. I thought Hanford did a good job picking their spots. We never made the real run you need.”
Woodward, who averages 25.5 points per game, had a season-high 45 points against Sunnyside two weeks ago. Friday, his point total included three 3’s, and an 11-of-12 performance from the free-throw line.
“Jordan (Ramirez) did a pretty good job on him until he got in foul trouble,” Arstein said. “But he is going to hit his shots. We are going to be fine. We just have to fix some stuff.”
On Tuesday, Dec. 18, Southridge gave Hermiston a bit of a scare, but the Bulldogs put together a solid fourth quarter to win the league game.
Andreason scored 21 points, and Jordan Ramirez added 14 as the Bulldogs went on a 19-12 run in the fourth quarter for a 61-54 Mid-Columbia Conference victory over the Suns at the Dawg House.
“That is one of the sloppiest games we have played in two years,” Hermiston coach Casey Arstein said. “That has to be fixed. They hit some shots that put us in a tight spot, but somehow we came out with the W.”