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Grizz finish off Bonita

Golden Valley erases fourth-quarter deficit to gain victory

Posted: February 19, 2010 10:35 p.m.
Updated: February 20, 2010 4:30 a.m.

After Golden Valley’s Taylor Statham hit the biggest pair of back-to-back 3-pointers in his career, teammate Trevor Wiseman’s one-handed fastbreak dunk was the perfect exclamation point in a 74-66 Grizzlies’ win over Bonita in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division IIIA playoffs on Friday at Golden Valley.

“When (Wiseman) is in there, people are keying on him and that frees things up,” Statham said. “My teammates trust me to hit those shots.”

It was a hard-fought battle for 32 minutes, but Wiseman may have inadvertently delivered the knockout blow seven minutes earlier.

Wiseman and Bonita’s C.J. Miller got tangled up about 13 seconds into the fourth quarter with the Bearcats up 51-45, before Miller caught an elbow and went crashing to the floor with a bloodied nose.

Miller, a lanky sharpshooter, had put the Grizzlies in a hole early with three quick 3-pointers, as the Bearcats broke the Golden Valley’s press early and hit wide-open looks to take a 26-18 first-quarter Bonita lead.

Miller and company also helped control the boards for the Bearcats as the Grizzlies looked disadvantaged early in the post despite the presence of Wiseman.

“We knew nobody was going to roll over for us in the playoffs,” said Golden Valley head coach Chris Printz. “We didn’t do a very good job of putting pressure on them early. We needed to make them dribble, and once we did that, we were able to force mistakes.”

Wiseman got off to a slow start, and Golden Valley quickly fell behind by 10 before Statham helped the Grizzlies close the gap. Statham finished with a game-high 24 points and Wiseman added 20 points.

Then Golden Valley (24-5) began to work its fullcourt press, and Bonita’s lead began to slip away thanks to turnovers.

Statham ran off six straight points and Khatari Price added a pair of steals, as Golden Valley made a run to take a 36-35 lead into the break. Wiseman found his touch and finished the first half with 10.

Bonita (24-5) seemed to have regained its shooting touch in the third quarter, eventually catching the Grizzlies to tie the game at 41.

A few more jumpers from Miller, who scored a team-high 14 points, put the Bearcats up 51-45 going into the fourth quarter.

Then a tie-up sent Miller down and out for the final frame and the Bearcats never seemed to recover.

“I hate to say it, but once we lost Miller we were tiny,” said Bonita head coach Greg Eckler. “That hurt.”

And things started to come together for Golden Valley, which really hurt the Bearcats.

A pair of steals from Price helped key an 8-0 Grizzlies’ run, and then another 6-0 run to finish off the Bearcats, courtesy of Statham.

Wiseman began to get rebounds by the handful, finishing with 18, more than half of those in the second half.

“Our team had to come together because we started out lackadaisical,” Statham said. “But we knew we could get it done. We’re a team and we’re 13-deep.”

Golden Valley will play Serra at Serra on Tuesday.



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