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Golden Valley picks up rebound

Grizzlies blow out Vasquez at home

Posted: December 3, 2008 11:26 p.m.
Updated: December 4, 2008 4:55 a.m.
After struggling in its opener, Golden Valley responded the way it hopes to bounce back the entire season.

The Grizzlies raced out to a 29-point halftime lead and pummeled visiting Vasquez 72-25 Wednesday evening at the Golden Valley High School gymnasium.

Golden Valley (1-1) swarmed Vasquez with its ball-hawking pressure defense and forced the Mustangs (0-1) into turnover after turnover, which were often cashed in at the other end.

If coach James Wilson had his way, this is how every game would play out.

“I think today we were able to do what we wanted,” he said. “If we can get away with full-court pressure, not letting them even touch the ball, that’s my goal every game. If our personnel allows us to do things, then we will do them. Sometimes, though, we play teams that handle that very well, so then we have to make adjustments. So it’s going to be a big chess match this year, making the adjustments that you need.”

No adjustments were necessary in this game, however, as the Grizzlies used their up-tempo transition game to nullify Vasquez’s strategy. The Mustangs wanted to set up a zone and force Golden Valley to beat them with jumpers, but the hosts wouldn’t fall into the trap.

Golden Valley’s Jasmine Jefferson led the way with 23 points.

Jefferson’s performance is something else Wilson hopes to see a lot this year.

“I think Jasmine is the one that has a lot of potential,” he said. “She’s kind of like a sleeping giant. I’m waiting for her to totally wake up. The motivation for her is the key. If she plays like she’s a motivated player every game, she can accomplish a lot.

“Tonight is the kind of game where she knows she can do what she wants if she sets her mind to it. She’s going to have that same opportunity to be a leader for us, and we’re going to need her to step up and be a leader.”

Jefferson and the Golden Valley frontcourt helped keep possessions alive, and for most of the game, the ball didn’t leave the Grizzlies’ basket until they wound up scoring.

Despite the comfortable margin, Golden Valley did get occasionally erratic and went through turnover-laced stretches. But for the second game of the season, Wilson will certainly take it.

“It’s a very promising start,” he said. “It gives us the confidence that we need. These would be where we grow up and try to mature as a team and try to come together before January when we start our league play.”

Sara Demshki and Laura Sanchez added eight points apiece for Golden Valley, while Deaja Plummer and Molly Bleau each finished with six.

Golden Valley will take on Lakeview Terrace Academy at 7:30 p.m. today.


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