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Prep basketball: One hurdle too many

Grizzlies give up lead in closing seconds of game

Posted: December 6, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 6, 2012 2:00 a.m.
 

It’s hard to argue that Golden Valley girls basketball has been the most challenged Santa Clarita Valley team over the last calendar year.

The Grizzlies have had four coaches in that span.

So what’s another challenge?

It turned out Wednesday’s challenge was too much — that one was holding onto a lead.

The Grizzlies led the whole way until the game’s final minute and lost 43-40 to Simi Valley on Wednesday at Golden Valley High in the Golden Valley Tournament.

There was clear disgust by the Grizzlies (2-5) afterward.

“They need to erase that from the scoreboard,” said Golden Valley guard Caitlyn Zindroski, who led her team with 11 points.

Golden Valley led 40-37 with 1:05 to play after a floater by guard Mariah Madison and a free throw after the shot.

Simi Valley answered with an open 3-pointer by Daphne Strano.

After a missed shot by Zindroski, Pioneer Cierra Boyd drew a foul and hit two free throws, giving Simi Valley (3-3) its first lead of the game at 42-40 with 15 seconds to play.

Golden Valley guard Ashley Oliver then drove from the left side of the basket and was met by two defenders.

She forced a shot that was blocked and Pioneers guard Cheyenne Madrigal was fouled with two seconds to play.

“It was intensity on the defense,” said Simi Valley head coach Sabrina Jenkins on what was the difference maker. “Being able to handle their pressure and attack the defense.”

It was a frustrating way to end things for the Grizzlies.

They got off to a 17-6 lead in the first quarter, thanks in part to an aggressive offense and success in transition.

Zindroski was particularly aggressive to the basket, shooting in volume, but scoring nine points in the frame.

The offense lost its flow in the second quarter and Simi Valley took advantage with a 12-2 run and cut the lead to 21-18 at halftime.

The Grizzlies maintained a short lead throughout the third, but seemed to have lost their legs late.

Simi Valley was the more energized team despite the Grizzlies leading 37-29 midway through the final quarter.

The Pioneers scored the next eight points, including a free throw by Jenna Quina, who was the game’s leading scorer at 13 points, that tied it at 37-37.

Golden Valley made two turnovers and missed two field goal attempts down the stretch.

“I think they made the adjustments. We rushed things,” said first-year Golden Valley head coach Kerri Garland. “We were not patient when we needed to. We need to learn to be patient.”

But Garland said it’s been quite an adjustment for the girls.

She wasn’t brought on to lead the girls until late in the summer.

Golden Valley originally brought on Al Van Hook to coach the girls, but he was later moved over to the boys side to take over that program.

Garland said there were attitude, directional and on-court changes that the girls had to make.

But Golden Valley has some pieces — quick, aggressive guards in Madison, Zindroski and Keilani Conner and a big post presence in sophomore Cherokee Cardriche.

They could make the Grizzlies competitive in 2012-13.

 

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