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Canyon pushes back against G.V.

Posted: January 31, 2014 10:32 p.m.
Updated: January 31, 2014 10:32 p.m.

Canyon's Kali Vittallo (1) scores against Golden Valley defenders Azaria Hill (24) and LaDaesha Merriweather (0) at Golden Valley on Friday.

Golden Valley girls basketball kept going after Canyon.

The Canyon Cowboys kept pushing back.

And in the end, the more experienced and polished Canyon team held off the Golden Valley Grizzlies 63-52 on Friday at Golden Valley High School.

No Canyon player fought past the Grizzlies’ scrappy defense better than senior point guard Kali Vittallo, who scored a game-high 28 points despite getting all she could handle defensively from Golden Valley’s Caitlyn Zindroski.

“When we started, our strategy was just energy,” Vittallo said. “We had to pick it up right away.”

In the first quarter, Vittallo made three 3-pointers, but she spent the rest of the game driving the lane relentlessly and getting to the free-throw line frequently.

“I think she got going early,” said Canyon head coach Chuck Johns of Vittallo. “I think she was more aggressive and assertive about trying to score.”

Fellow Canyon senior Monica Friedl added 18 points of her own, 14 of which came in the first half.

The Cowboys (20-4 overall, 5-1 Foothill League) used a 12-2 run that began in the first quarter and ended up giving Canyon a 22-10 lead early in the second.

Golden Valley (12-9, 1-5) wasn’t able to challenge much from that point on, mostly due to stagnant offensive play.

“They’ve played some catch up, but they aren’t all the way there,” said Golden Valley head coach Kerri Garland on her team’s development. “They were panicking on offense, rushing shots and making bad passes.”

Zindroski led the Grizzlies with 18 points and Mariah Madison followed with 16.

A lot of Golden Valley’s points came in transition or directly off turnovers.

In half court situations, the Grizzlies struggled to score.

Early in the fourth quarter, Canyon build its lead to as big as 21 points, but Golden Valley was unwilling to let this game go away quietly.

Pressure defense and an array of turnovers helped the Grizzlies keep the score within reason.

“It was a different defense so it just made us get different looks,” Vittallo said of Golden Valley.


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