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Don't sleep on the Grizzlies

• Golden Valley wins War on Floor Tournament title

Posted: June 26, 2008 1:51 a.m.
Updated: August 27, 2008 5:03 a.m.

Chris Printz had a tough time sleeping this spring.

After his Golden Valley boys basketball team went 0-10 in the Foothill League, the blame crept to the head coach's doorstop.

He can sleep a little easier now, following the Grizzlies' 4-1 run in the War on the Floor Tournament that culminated in their 64-59 win over Clovis East on Tuesday to win the Silver Championship.

"Last year we were a very young team," Printz said. "That's not to excuse what our record in the Foothill League was."

Printz has several other reasons he can rest his head more comfortably on his pillow. One is Stevie Thornton, a 6-foot-5 wing who led Golden Valley in the final game with 18 points.

Thornton attended Golden Valley his freshman year, then spent time at Chatsworth where he didn't play last year.

"Stevie is going to be a big key for us," Printz said. "It's going to take him a while because he hasn't been on the court for a year, but his upside is tremendous."

The senior-to-be returned to Golden Valley and joins 6-foot-6 junior-to-be Trevor Wiseman, and 6-foot guard Maverick Ahanmisi to form a trio Printz hopes will get the Grizzlies out of the Foothill cellar.

Another is Wiseman, who started last season as a sophomore, has grown at least an inch, and can play the point or the post.

"I think that was quite a task for him but now being a junior-to-be, he has to be one of our leaders," Printz said.

Maturity is yet another. Four starters return and early progress is visible. The only team the Grizzlies lost to was City section giant Taft.

And even in that game, the first of its summer, Golden Valley hung around within single digits for the majority of the game. In the next four games, Printz's squad ended on the winning side.

"I'm happy with how we battled back after the Taft game," Printz said. "We've improved every single game."

Next up for the Grizzlies is the UC Santa Barbara camp this weekend and the Sunday tournament at the end.

"We've committed ourselves, we expect to compete for the league title," Printz said. "I know nobody else will because we're little Golden Valley."


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