TACOMA — Skyview senior Cody McKinney has dealt with many difficult assignments this season. None were bigger than West Valley of Yakima’s 7-foot-1 Conner Turner.
McKinney, who the Storm describe as their x-factor, starred on the defensive end and scored eight points to help Skyview’s boys basketball team to a 47-31 win over the Rams (19-4) in a 4A State round-of-12 game Wednesday.
“Cody has bought into his role,” coach Matt Gruhler said. “He’s willing to be selfless and do what it takes. When it comes to a tough matchup, he’s willing to grit and bear it and do it.”
McKinney has had to defend some of the state’s top players all season, notably Battle Ground’s Kaden Perry and Union’s Tanner Toolson. It made Wednesday easy in comparison.
“He didn’t really attack much,” McKinney said of West Valley’s big man. “It was just getting into him and trying to keep him off the rim as much as you could.”
The Storm (19-9) secure at least two more days at the Tacoma Dome, starting with a 3:45 p.m. Thursday quarterfinal against Central Valley of Spokane.
Following a composed 28 minutes Wednesday, the Storm are optimistic moving forward.
After a rough start, which featured a pair of turnovers that led to West Valley’s 6-0 game-opening run, Jace Chatman connected on a pair of 3-pointers. By quarter’s end, Skyview tied the game 8-8 before opening the second frame on a 7-0 run to take the lead for good.
Chatman finished with a game-high 22 points.
“We just needed to get a few shots in,” Chatman said. “It’s a different atmosphere. We’ve never played in a dome like this. We just needed to settle down and get some shots in and let it go from there.”
The Storm limited West Valley to just 33.3 percent shooting (14-42) and the Rams compounded their problems by going 0 for 12 from beyond the arc. Leading scorer Logan Kinloch finished 4 of 18 with nine points.
“When we give full effort and stick to the gameplan, we’re pretty tough at times,” coach Gruhler said. “The coaching staff, we study. We knew what they were trying to do and we tried to take it away.”
Kyle Gruhler added 10 points and six rebounds for the Storm.
SKYVIEW 47, WEST VALLEY (YAKIMA) 31
SKYVIEW (19-9) — Squeeky Johnson 4, Alec Marshall 3, Kyle Gruhler 10, Jace Chatman 22, Cody McKinney 8, Mehkai Brooks 0, Xavier Owens 0, Soren Hopper 0, Sean Boss 0, David Sheppert 0, Cole Bain 0. Totals 15-41 (7-24) 10-12 47.
WEST VALLEY (19-4) — James Dorsett 6, Tony Funk 2, Logan Kinloch 9, James Matheny 8, Conner Turner 5, Jack VanDeBrake 1, Dawson Kinloch 0, Jackson Cluff 0, Hunter Schlepp 0, Jaxson Goldsmith 0, Carter Finley 0, Hayden Groth 0. Totals 14-42 (0-12) 3-6 31.
Skyview 8 16 12 11—47
W. Valley 8 4 9 10—31