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.”
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.
“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.”
Romero added 10 points for the Bulldogs, while Ray had seven.
The loss put the brakes on a three-game winning streak for Hermiston.
Hanford found out Friday that it didn’t not have the players to stop Thomas, who poured in 26 points — 15 in the second half — to lead the Bulldogs to a 61-33 MCC road win over the Falcons.
“Jordan is back in the groove and the young girls are learning to get her the ball,” Hermiston coach Rodriguez said. “I challenged Jordan at halftime. I told her these girls should not be able to guard you. She was able to stay on the court. She didn’t get tired or get in foul trouble.”
It was all Hermiston in the second half.
The Bulldogs went on a 20-4 tear in the third quarter, getting 3-pointers from Jazlyn Romero, Kaylee Young and Katelyn Heideman, and nine points from Thomas.
On Tuesday, Dec. 18, the Hermiston girls picked up their first Mid-Columbia Conference win.
The Bulldogs used a 41-17 run in the second half to pull away and beat Southridge 67-35 at the Dawg House.
The Bulldogs trailed 10-6 after the first quarter, but got their act together in the second behind six points from Jayden Ray and five from Jazlyn Romero for a 26-17 lead at the half.
Kendall Dowdy scored seven of her nine points in the second half, and Ray had six as Hermiston got scoring from all but one player on the night.
“We need our role players to do these things,” Rodriguez said. “Teams are going to take away Jordan (Thomas) and Jaz away. They need to know what to do.”
Of Hermiston’s 19 points in the third quarter, nine came off 3-pointers from Dowdy, Sydney Seavert and Heideman.