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Golden Valley boys hoops brings the drama in finale

Fans storm the court after Golden Valley holds on to beat Saugus in last regular season game

Posted: February 13, 2014 11:09 p.m.
Updated: February 13, 2014 11:09 p.m.
 

A full gym, a dramatic finish and fans rushing the court at the final buzzer aren’t things you might expect in the Foothill League finale for two teams that won’t make the playoffs.

Yet, it was all true of Saugus and Golden Valley’s game Thursday night.

The Grizzlies (9-15 overall, 2-8 in Foothill) weathered a three-quarter-long cold spell to beat Saugus 45-41 at Golden Valley.

“It was rocking; we have a good group of kids supporting us,” said Grizzlies head coach Dan Alon of the game’s atmosphere. “Who would fill up a (gym) and come on the road even when you lose?”

The Golden Valley faithful got to rush the court against Saugus (9-19, 0-10) on the road earlier this season as their Grizzlies broke a 34-game Foothill League losing streak. But Alon told his team it owed the fans a home league win, too.

Golden Valley jumped out to an early lead behind five first quarter 3-pointers, with Noah Heinzman and Derek Schlossman combining for four.

But the Grizzlies didn’t make another 3-pointer the rest of the game and scored just 14 points over the second and third quarters.

Saugus’ own offensive struggles kept it from capitalizing and it trailed 25-17 at the half and by seven heading to the fourth.

Saugus cut Golden Valley’s lead to 43-41 with 1:19 to play on three free throws from Jacob Tobon, who led Saugus with 16 points. Golden Valley missed two free-throws with 19 seconds remaining and Saugus drew a foul on the ensuing possession. But two missed free throws and a missed lay-up off the offensive rebound later, and the Centurions were out of chances, while Golden Valley doubled its 2014 Foothill win total.

“Either Saugus’ (fans) will storm the court or your fans will storm the court,” said Alon, of what he told his team before the game.

He was right.

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