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Grizzlies move one step closer to Foothill League title

Wiseman posts team-record 18 rebounds, Ahanmisi pours in 31 points

Posted: February 7, 2009 2:41 a.m.
Updated: February 7, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Golden Valley boys basketball maintained its Foothill League lead with an 85-76 win over Saugus Friday night at home.

Senior guard Maverick Ahanmisi led the Grizzlies with 31 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter, and Trevor Wiseman set a team record with 18 rebounds.

"We played with great intensity tonight," said Golden Valley head coach Chris Printz. "Maverick's leadership was big for us, and Trevor was just phenomenal on the boards."

Saugus (10-14, 2-6) hung with Golden Valley through most of the first quarter, and the Cents opened up a 17-15 lead six minutes in before the Grizzlies (22-3, 7-1) closed the frame on an 8-0 run.

The streak continued into the second when Golden Valley scored the first six points to make it a 29-17 game.

"We were competing out there tonight," said Saugus head coach Derek Ballard. "It's just a matter of finding a way for us to get over the top because we're in these games every night."

Noel Mansour was the top scorer for Saugus with 17, and Mark Wantanabe chipped in 15, but the scrappy Centurions couldn't overcome the Grizzlies' early cushion.

The Centurions, losers of six straight, could never get within less than the nine-point spread Golden Valley took into halftime.

"Saugus made some tough shots," Printz said. "I thought we played pretty solid defense, but they were tough to contain."

The second half featured some Golden Valley fireworks, highlighted by Steven Thornton's one-handed put back jam and an Ahanmsi half-court bomb as the third-quarter buzzer sounded.

Both plays brought the raucous Golden Valley crowd to its feet.

"We made some vital mistakes against a very good team," Ballard said. "They've got a size advantage on us so we needed to box out better."

Still, the Cents hung with Golden Valley into the fourth quarter, pulling within nine several times, but the Grizzlies had an answer to every Saugus run.

"For us it's never a question of effort," Ballard said. "I know our guys are going to play hard every night. We just have to find a way to win these last two games."

The final two games of the Foothill League season are especially important to Golden Valley. A pair of wins will equal league title for the Grizzlies.

"We did what we had to do tonight, and we're going to go out and keep doing it," Printz said. "We haven't changed anything all year so we aren't going to now."


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