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Holiday good to Grizzlies

Win gives Golden Valley the Hart Holiday Classic title

Posted: December 30, 2008 10:27 p.m.
Updated: December 31, 2008 4:30 a.m.

Indians guard Ben Kimble (20) takes a shot as Golden Valley's Maverick Ahanmisi (13) attempts to block it during the second half of Tuesday evening's championship game in the Hart Holiday Classic at Hart High School. The Grizzlies beat the Indians 95-89.

 

It's hard to keep up with Golden Valley's breakneck tempo for an entire game - and when you don't match it early, it's nearly impossible.

The Grizzlies stormed Hart in the first quarter and made enough shots thanks to a balanced offense to earn a 95-89 victory in the championship game of the Hart Holiday Classic.

With the win, Golden Valley (12-1) avenges its only loss of the season. But head coach Chris Printz insists that revenge wasn't a huge motivator.

"It wasn't necessarily a revenge thing," he said. "We have a lot of respect for them. It was more about trusting ourselves, and we were given that opportunity to test ourselves and see where we are. You only get better by playing the best, and when we play (Hart), they're obviously one of the best around."

The Indians (11-5) demonstrated that tenacity by bullying their way back into the game in the second quarter and refusing to go away in the fourth. Hart cut the deficit to eight points with 1:06 remaining, but a coast-to-coast three-point play by Golden Valley's Trevor Wiseman sealed the game a few seconds later.

A big reason that Hart clawed back into the game was Parker Dominguez, who routinely cleaned up misses and made hustle plays all over the court.

"He plays at one speed," said Hart head coach Tom Kelly. "He goes all out at both ends of the floor. He's kind of our heart and soul."

But the Indians could have used more energy during the opening period, when Golden Valley blitzed its way to an 11-point lead. Erick Serrano had 15 of his game-high 26 points in the first quarter, and Golden Valley shot 52 percent as a team.

"It was real big," Serrano said of the Grizzlies' start. "The game of basketball is played in spurts, so thankfully, that was ours."

Printz felt the same way, especially given the high level of intensity.

"It was big from a maturity standpoint to come out and just go and play and enjoy it," he said. "I told them before the game, we can strategize and do all this and do all that, but the bottom line, you got into this business because you love the game, so just go out and enjoy the moment."

The game was frequently interrupted by foul calls, which turned an up-and-down affair into a jilted mess at times. Hart's Joe Inemer said the teams expected such a physical battle.

"We knew it was going to be a tough game," he said.

And unfortunately for the Indians, the sloppy start made things even tougher.

"When you turn the ball over and you're giving up layups, you're climbing out of the hole the rest of the game," Kelly said. "Our kids battled, but we turned it over too often and too early."

Maverick Ahanmisi scored 25 points for Golden Valley, including a couple of deep 3-pointers, and Trevor Wiseman added 16. Chris White scored 13 points and hit some big shots when the rest of the Grizzlies went cold in the second quarter. Patrick Abbott scored 22 points to pace Hart.

For most of the game, however, the Grizzlies were sharp.

"When we play at our best for 32 minutes, it's hard to match that intensity," Printz said.

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