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Golden Valley aims for repeat

Grizzlies overcome sluggish start to remain tied for first in Foothill

Posted: February 9, 2010 10:56 p.m.
Updated: February 10, 2010 4:30 a.m.

Going into its game against West Ranch on Tuesday night, the Golden Valley boys basketball team was in a three-way tie for first place in the Foothill League with Canyon and Valencia.

Something was sure to get sorted out, and the Grizzlies didn’t want to lose their chance to repeat as Foothill League champions.
After defeating the visiting Wildcats 87-70, Golden Valley will get that chance.

West Ranch (12-13, 3-6) jumped out to an early 5-0 lead and dominated in the first quarter, hitting 8-of-15 shots from the floor.

The Wildcats took a nine point lead at 19-10 after Ako Kaluna made a layup immediately following an Anthony Yumul 3-pointer, prompting a Golden Valley timeout.

Taylor Statham responded with a 3-pointer of his own to close the gap at 19-13 and end the quarter.

“As always, we knew they would come out hard and they had a great start,” said Golden Valley head coach Chris Printz. “Our effort was not there early.”

Yumul hit another 3-pointer in the second quarter, giving the Wildcats another nine point lead at 24-15.

That’s when Golden Valley (21-5, 7-2) mounted its comeback.

Khatari Price hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Josh Serrano added another three to bring the Grizzlies within 32-28 with three minutes left in the half. Trevor Wiseman was fouled driving to the basket and hit both free throws to cut the Wildcats’ lead to two points.

Statham tied the game at 32 after he was fouled driving to the basket and hit both his free throws.

Serrano closed the half with another 3-pointer for a 39-35 Golden Valley lead.

“Our shots stopped falling and they couldn’t miss,” said West Ranch head coach Sean LeGaux. “They went on a huge run and we couldn’t stop their momentum.”

Golden Valley came back from the break and hit back-to-back threes by Serrano and Statham for a 45-35 lead. The Grizzlies continued to build on that lead, extending it to 20 points, at 65-45 at the end of the third quarter.

“I challenged my guys at halftime and we just started executing” Printz said.

The Grizzlies opened up their biggest lead of 24 points after Justin Tabor was fouled on a layup and hit the free throw for the three-point play with three minutes left in the game.

West Ranch couldn’t overcome the deficit.

“When you zone up, you have to give up something and we gave up the three,” LeGaux said.

Golden Valley hit 10-of-17 from beyond the arc, with Serrano hitting four of them to end the night with 12 points.

West Ranch guard Elias Lucas led all scorers with 21 points.

Wiseman had 19 points to lead the Grizzlies offense, followed by Statham with 14 points.

Golden Valley will host Hart on Thursday in a must-win game to keep at least a share of the league championship.

The last time the two teams met on Jan. 26, the Grizzlies came away with a 79-48 win.

“We can’t take Thursday lightly,” said Wiseman. “We’re going to try to bring back the title.”



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