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Grizzlies win in all-local nailbiter

Golden Valley tops Trinity 61-59

Posted: January 9, 2014 9:49 p.m.
Updated: January 9, 2014 9:49 p.m.
 Golden Valley’s Harrison Edwards, right, protects the ball as he posts up against Trinity’s Spencer Klehnon Thursday at Golden Valley.  Golden Valley’s Harrison Edwards, right, protects the ball as he posts up against Trinity’s Spencer Klehnon Thursday at Golden Valley.
 Golden Valley’s Harrison Edwards, right, protects the ball as he posts up against Trinity’s Spencer Klehnon Thursday at Golden Valley.

One word says it all about Thursday’s inter-Santa Clarita Valley matchup between the Foothill League’s Golden Valley Grizzlies and the Heritage League’s Trinity Classical Academy Knights boys basketball teams.


Golden Valley almost became the team that Trinity got its breakthrough win over a Foothill team against.
But almost wasn’t enough in the Grizzlies’ 61-59 nail-biter victory at Golden Valley High.

“Before this game we were looking at how much each (Foothill) team beat them by. (We thought in the fourth quarter) we have to beat this team or we’re going to get smacked in the Foothill,” said Grizzlies guard Tristan Peralta. “We’ve got to beat these cats or we’re going to finish at the bottom of league.”

It was Peralta’s steal late that saved Golden Valley (7-7).

With eight seconds left in the game, Trinity’s Ryan Brooks inbounded to Ian Caddow, the game’s leading scorer with 16 points.

The play was designed for Caddow to either take it to the basket and shoot, or take it to the basket and kick it back to Brooks.

Caddow drove inside and Peralta got just enough of the ball to jar it loose and the Grizzlies grabbed the final possession.

“(My players) wanted it. We want to be able to play with these guys,” said Trinity head coach John Brooks of his team against Foothill teams.

Trinity (5-6), a finalist in last year’s CIF-Southern Section Division VI playoffs, has played up most of this season, and thus have been knocked down by Foothill teams Canyon (81-44 on Dec. 20) and Valencia (72-17 on Tuesday).

This was their chance to win.

Golden Valley, a Division IIAA team, took a 44-35 lead, its biggest lead of the game, with 7:10 to play in the fourth quarter when Grizzly Derek Schlossman hit a 3-pointer.

Then Knights sophomore Michael Mateo caught fire.

He hit three 3-pointers during a 12-3 run — the final one tying the score at 47-47 with 5:40 to play.
Mateo made four threes in the fourth quarter en route to 15 points in the game.

From there, it was back and forth.

Trinity got a 59-58 lead with 1:28 to play when Ryan Brooks made an off-balance 5-footer and was fouled.

However, Golden Valley’s Noah Heinzman, who had 12 points in the game, drilled a 3-pointer from the elbow with 30 seconds left to give the Grizzlies a 61-59 lead.

Trinity failed on a free throw, but Mateo stole the ball with eight seconds to play.

That set up the final play, which Peralta, who also had 12 points, came up big during.

“My father, God rest his soul, used to say, ‘I’d rather be lucky than good.’ Maybe tonight we were a little lucky,” said Golden Valley head coach Dan Alon.

The Grizzlies were without two starters who did not play because of disciplinary reasons.

The game was tight throughout with Golden Valley never having a lead beyond five points in the first half.

Alon said he has waited all season for one of his guys to get vocal, but finally senior Cesar Ortiz breathed some life into the team at halftime by trying to motivate his teammates.

“We’ve got to start somewhere. League is coming up. We’ve got to step up,” Ortiz said on why he got vocal.

The Grizzlies’ next game is the Foothill opener at Canyon on Tuesday.

For Trinity, it showed some resiliency late, but missed good looks early and unforced turnovers were issues.

The Knights got an impactful game from Spencer Klehn with 13 points and big rebounds throughout.

The Knights play a team much closer to their division on Tuesday in Oakwood of North Hollywood.




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