GRANDVIEW -- Three weeks ago, the Grandview Greyhounds were coming off an 18-0 run through the Central Washington Athletic Conference and beginning to realize the possibility of a perfect season.
And why not? The Greyhounds were on a roll, having dispatched 20 consecutive opponents by an average margin of more than 20 points a game.
But after an easy CWAC semifinal win over East Valley, Grandview was shocked by Wapato in the district title game 47-43 for its first loss of the year.
"We wanted that district championship bad. I remember walking to the locker room, thinking, 'Are you serious?' " Greyhounds senior guard Christian Schrank said.
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One week later, West Valley of Spokane handed Grandview its second loss in a row in the WIAA 2A state regional opener.
Two consecutive losses in a week for the top-ranked 2A team in the state?
Inconceivable? Not so much.
Fortunate? Maybe so.
"We needed to lose. We were going through practice lackadaisical. We were going through the motions, like, 'OK we're going to do this again,' " Schrank said. "I wouldn't say it was perfect timing, but after the loss, we all knew we still had the chance to go to regionals."
That was then. This is now. The Greyhounds, who reached state last year with a hard-working core of juniors, are back with essentially the same crew.
And now they're even hungrier to make an impression after finishing eighth last season.
"The boys are just anxious. They're tired of beating up on each other in practice," said Grandview coach Roy Garcia, a former Greyhounds player.
Garcia was a key part of two of the program's three state championships -- the first as a player in 1990, the second as an assistant coach in 2002.
"With this team, I've tried to keep practice light this week and keep their legs fresh for a relaxed atmosphere," Garcia said. "At the same time, our boys believe they have something to prove. In those two losses, we didn't shoot the ball very well, but we still had a chance to win.
"We don't have to score 70 or 80 points to win. We can grind it out and score 40 or 50 if that's the way it plays out. The boys always find a way to win."
The Greyhounds (23-2) will face Burlington-Edison (21-3) in the 2A state quarterfinals at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Yakima SunDome.
The Tigers, which shared the Northwest Conference crown with Sehome, have a lineup that averages 6-feet-5 inches across the front line.
Burlington-Edison is led by 6-6 post Eric Walser and 6-4 forwards Will Stewart and Jordan Reed.
But don't expect Grandview to fret much about the size disadvantage.
"No, sir. That's not going to be a concern. We're always a smaller team," Schrank said. "If you go back to (a 57-55 first-round win over) Clarkston, they had one of the better big men in the state, and Burlington is just like them. You've just got to be a little quicker, and you've got to block out.
"And don't get outworked."
Garcia emphasized the importance of a mental state of readiness as well.
"When you get to this point, the last push is all mental," Garcia said. "Now it's a matter of who can minimize mistakes. Whoever does that will win."