YAKIMA, Wash. -- Having put up 30 or more points in four previous games this season, Earl Lee III naturally thought it would be fun to hit 40 some day.
That day came Wednesday.
The Davis junior connected on 8 of 9 shots during one stretch in a 25-point first half and coasted home with 41 in the Pirates’ 86-61 win at Eisenhower, which had trouble with Lee last month when he scored 34 on his court.
There were some interesting moments toward the end of Lee’s breakout 41, which is a record in the 62-year, 147-game history of the Davis-Ike rivalry.
Midway in the final period he rimmed out the front end of a 1-and-1, but since everybody in the lane thought it was a two-shot foul he bounded forward, grabbed the rebound and scored for 37. Lee later sank two free throws — his only points from the foul line — at the 2:48 mark to reach 39.
“I looked over at the bench because we were subbing guys out and I thought I was next,” Lee said. “I knew I had 39 because it was on (Ike’s) scoreboard, but I was fine with whatever the coaches wanted.”
Lee stayed in for a couple more possessions and hit 41 on a layup with 1:48 left.
“Sunny (Earl’s nickname) gets a lot of minutes because we’re a little thin at his specific position,” said Davis coach Eli Juarez. “He understands he has a ways to go, but he’s learning and maturing and improving. He can definitely shoot.”
• Crazy stat coincidence: Wednesday’s score of 86-61 is exactly the advantage Davis holds in the crosstown series.
Last step to the top
After two runner-up finishes and a third-place medal at Mat Classic, Naches Valley’s Kaylee Moore is clearly primed for her last shot at a state championship.
Taking a 36-0 record to Saturday’s regional in Othello, Moore has ended 29 of those matches with a pin. She is ranked No. 1 in the state at 130 pounds and third in the nation, according to the latest USA Wrestling rankings.
At last week’s South sub-regional, Moore needed less than four minutes of mat time to record three first-period falls. Last year she missed nearly the entire season with an injury but still reached the state championship finals.
“Being pain-free is a big part of it, and she has changed her way of wrestling and no longer relying solely on her defense,” NV girls coach Dave Reini. “Offense has been a big difference this year.”
Moore has outscored opponents 205-6 this season.
• Sophomore Lourdes Torres ranks second in the state at 155 pounds and seventh in the nation for Sunnyside, which has 12 regional qualifiers.
• Granger junior Viktorya Torres, who’s 17-0, ranks second in the state at 135 and eighth in the nation.
The way things are escalating between sisters Ashlee and Emilee Maldonado, anything seems possible.
A week after Ashlee broke her sister’s career scoring record at Sunnyside, Emilee led an upset for Providence over No. 8 Carroll (NAIA) and then scored a career-high 31 points the next night to beat No. 21 Rocky Mountain.
Ashlee can counter with another Sunnyside milestone as the Grizzlies look to close out an unbeaten CBBN season on Friday. This will be the program’s sixth league title but it would be the first with a perfect record.
With a nine-game win streak and No. 9 RPI ranking in 4A, Sunnyside’s only losses have been to Kamiakin (19-1, No. 3 3A) and Glacier Peak (18-1, No. 2 4A).
New challenge awaits
Davis state champion John Sowers is very familiar with the contenders in his Class 4A 145-pound weight class. But there is one newcomer — fourth-ranked Jeremy Hernandez of Redmond — and they could meet in Saturday’s regional final.
Hernandez is a two-time Mat Classic medalist who was the 3A state runner-up at 145 last year. Redmond petitioned to move up to 4A in the middle of the four-year classification cycle and the move was approved.
Sowers is up to 128 career wins and could match Zach Nalley’s school record of 131 on Saturday.
Coyotes ready for bi-district
The Central Washington 2B League is sending a trio of boys teams with 16-4 records into the District 5-6 tournament — Oroville, Brewster and Lake Roosevelt.
Top-ranked Kittitas (21-1) is in Saturday’s quarterfinals, awaiting Friday’s White Swan-Tonasket winner for a 1:45 p.m. game at Hanford. A win would clinch a return to Spokane with the 12-team tournament having five state berths.
Kittitas, which could face Brewster in next Friday’s semifinals, made 218 3-pointers during the regular season with Brock Ravet hitting 93.
From the note file
• Erik Feldmann’s opening 50 split in his 100 freestyle at the CBBN district finals was 23.21, which is fast enough to lead the Valley on its own. The West Valley senior has climbed to third in Valley history in the 100 free (47.25) and fourth in the 50 free (21.33).
• All 12 matches in the 285-pound championship bracket at the CWAC district wrestling tournament ended with a fall. But the three placing matches for third through eighth were decided by decisions of 2-1, 3-0 and 4-2.
• Grandview’s Michelle Ruiz (2A girls) and Sunnyside Christian’s Lucas Dykstra (1B boys) received WIAA athlete of the week honors on Wednesday. Dykstra became SC’s 13th boys player to surpass 1,000 career points last week, while Ruiz has climbed to fourth on Grandview’s career list with 1,175.