EHS vs EVHS boys

Ellensburg High School’s Ryan Ferguson (5) shoots against East Valley High School’s Kaleb Thorson (23) in a game earlier this season. The Bulldogs defeated Grandview on Monday and travel to play Ephrata on Wednesday.

GRANDVIEW — It was a little nerve racking, but the Ellensburg High School boys basketball team got it done Monday night on the road versus Grandview High School.

No. 7 seeded Bulldogs faced No. 6 Grandview in the first round of districts and won 65-62 to advance to the quarterfinals.

Head coach Anthony Graham was proud of the boys, especially considering it was a quick turnaround after facing Selah in a taut matchup Saturday.

The Bulldogs led 59-46 midway through the fourth quarter but Grandview’s pressure started causing issues and were able to wane the deficit within just a few points.

“We were struggling breaking their press which forced their comeback,” said senior Ryan Ferguson. “But we eventually were settling down and they had to foul which sent us to the line at the end.”

Ferguson led the Bulldogs with 21 points and went 5-for-5 at the free throw line. Sophomore Aiden Lewis notched 17 points with 10 coming in the second quarter. Sophomore JT Fenz added nine and senior Bryce Messner finished with eight.

Ellensburg had won its last 5-of-7 games and nearly beat Selah High School last Saturday (65-62) after holding a double digit lead in the fourth quarter.

A double-digit lead was nearly squandered again on Monday, but Ellensburg persevered.

“I think just the way we have been playing was the difference tonight,” Ferguson said. “Last time we played them (Grandview in a 59-49 loss), we saw a difference but we couldn’t quite finish. Tonight we finished the game out but still got things to work on.”

Ellensburg now travels to play No. 3 Ephrata High School at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. The Bulldogs upset the Tigers earlier in the season on Jan. 25 with a 58-48 decision.

“We need to play solid and not let the pressure get to us,” Ferguson said on what it’s going to take to defeat Ephrata. “We’ve beat them before and we can do it again.”

If the Bulldogs win, they’ll face Selah on Feb. 15 at Central Washington University.

No. 5 East Valley (Yakima) High School defeated No. 8 Othello 75-39. East Valley now travels to No. 4 Prosser High School on Wednesday. Winner faces No. 1 Toppenish High School.

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