YAKIMA, Wash. -- They seemed beaten first for such a long stretch and then, later, by so much with so little time left that it seemed impossible that the Davis Pirates had actually won.
But somehow, after being outscored 27-8 over one 10-minute stretch and trailing by 10 points with four minutes remaining, they did.
Sydni Billups scored six of her game-high 16 points over the last 3:44, including the game-winning basket with 13 seconds remaining, and reserve Jennifer Morales played like an all-leaguer down the stretch as Davis rallied for its remarkable 59-58 triumph.
“It ain’t over until the buzzer buzzes,” sophomore guard Alexis Gratton said of the Pirates’ dramatic finish to a game in which they had trailed by as many as 14 points and were down by double digits much of the night.
“It means everything,” Billups said.
Certainly, it means the Pirates still have a chance at winning the CBBN title. The Pirates (8-3 CBBN, 9-7 overall) still trail Moses Lake by two games and have a home game against the Chiefs, but would need somebody else to knock off the frontrunners. If that happens, though, since Moses Lake and Davis have split their first two games, the final would determine the regular-season champion and the No. 1 seed into district.
But even that slender possibility seem to have been erased when Sunnyside (6-5, 8-8) took a 55-45 lead on Selena Rubalcava’s 3-pointer with 4:22 remaining.
“When I saw it get to double digits it was like, whoa,” Pirates coach Erin Smith said. “But it was just a matter of taking it one possession at a time. Get a defensive stop, get a basket, get another stop.
“We’re in it until the end.”
Billups and Morales combined to go 8-for-8 at the foul line down the stretch, including Morales swishing the free throw to cap a 3-point play at 1:48 that put Davis up 57-56 — the Pirates’ first lead since the first quarter. Celia Vargas banked in a go-ahead basket for Sunnyside 14 seconds later, and each team saw scoring opportunities go for naught over the next minute.
With 20 seconds remaining, Morales blocked a driving 9-footer by Vargas, and when Cierra Juarez (13 points) grabbed the rebound, Perez and Billups sprinted to the other end on a two-on-one break. Perez dished to Billups for the layup and, with 13 seconds remaining, the Pirates were ahead once again.
It turned out to be for the final time, when Rodriguez — who had turned in a stellar 14-point, 10-rebound, four-assist night — was called for an offensive foul five seconds later.
“This is huge,” Smith said. “Every game is important right now.”
For the Pirates, who had been blown out in the second half of their last game against Sunnyside, the victory was also a taste of sweet redemption.
“We played tonight how we should have played down there (at Sunnyside),” Billups said. “We played together. And it was good.”
SUNNYSIDE — Alvarez 7, Hernandez 0, Rubalcava 7, Jordan Rodriguez 14, Perez 9, Willingham 7, Vargas 9, Fernandez 5, Trevino 0. Totals 22-56 10-18 58.
DAVIS — Cierra Juarez 13, Gratton 3, Perez 3, Sydni Billups 16, Fowler 7, Martinez 2, Salazar 3, Alvarado 0, Jennifer Morales 12. Totals 20-48 15-22 59.
Sunnyside 14 19 13 12 — 58
Davis 15 8 18 18 — 59
3-point goals: Sunnyside 4-14 (Fernandez 1-1, Rodriguez 1-4, Vargas 1-5, Rubalcava 1-4), Davis 4-11 (Fowler 2-3, Juarez 1-1, Salazar 1-2, Gratton 0-4, Perez 0-1). Rebounds: Sunnyside 39 (Rodriguez 10, Willingham 9, Perez 6), Davis 33 (Billups 7, Gratton 5, Juarez 5). Fouls: Sunnyside 19, Davis 14. Fouled out: Alvarez (S). Turnovers: Sunnyside 10, Davis 22. Assists: Sunnyside 8 (Rodriguez 4), Davis 10 (Gratton 5, Perez 3).