Granite Bay holds off Raiders, advances in postseason

Jelinek, Hamby play big roles in Grizzly win
By: Kurt Johnson, The Press Tribune
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After struggling early to defend River City’s talented Victoria Turner, the Granite Bay High girls basketball team worked its way to a 54-51 win Tuesday night. The first-round game in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs revealed a bit a early nerves for the Grizzlies, and the aggressive 5-foot-7 Turner took full advantage. She worked the inside to the tune of 11 first quarter points, but managed just six the rest of the way. “Everybody thinks we are an experienced team because of all the seniors,” said Granite Bay coach Melissa Triebwasser. “Other than Sarah (Sciascia), most of these girls did not have a lot of playing time and this was their first real playoff action.” Once they got past the anxious moments, the Grizzlies used an active match-up defense to make things tough for Turner. With Libby Jelinek and Hannah Mashaw working hard, and a lot of help from Jessica Hamby off the Granite Bay bench, it was at that end of the court that the Lady Grizzlies earned this win. “We played a bit tentative early, but once we got into it, we got better in our rotations,” Triebwasser said. “We locked down on Victoria and decided that someone else was going to have to beat us.” That someone else did not show up until the second half, but they did do enough to make it close. Granite Bay trailed by just one by the end of the first quarter, as it turned to a passing game to compensate for its lack of consistency from the perimeter. Jelinek and Hamby were critical offensive contributors early. With Turner following her all over the court, Sciascia had to battle for everything she got, which led her to turn on the passing game. “They really got out on Sarah, so we were fortunate that Libby did a great job getting us going,” Triebwasser said. “When she is hitting jump shots, with her ability to work inside, she is very tough to defend.” Jelinek and Sciascia each scored eight first-half points, with Hamby and Jessica Miller each adding four as the Grizzlies managed to build a 24-18 lead by the break. Once Granite Bay locked down on Turner, the Raider offense had a hard time getting it going before intermission. Despite not scoring at all in the second stanza, the senior scored 11 of her team’s 18 first-half points. While Granite Bay led the entire second half, even opening double-digit leads at times, freshman Katelin King scored 12 of her 13 after the break and Mercedes Dobson scored nine of her 12 in the second half as they kept River City within striking distance. The offense of Hamby and Hannah Mashaw in the fourth allowed Granite Bay to survive. Jelinek scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead Grizzly scorers. Sciascia scored 14 points, grabbed five boards and dished out four assists while grabbing four steals. Hamby was big off the bench with 10 points and 11 rebounds. With 50 seconds remaining, River City pulled within two as Turner capped an 8-0 run with a steal and a lay-up. Twenty seconds later, another turnover had River City at the doorstep, but King’s lay-up rolled off, and after Sciascia hit one of two free throws, Turner missed on the front end of a one-and-one to allow the Grizzlies to create some space. Two late Hamby charity tosses created just enough of an advantage to stave off a King 3-pointer at the 7.5-second mark. The win ends River City’s season. The No. 11 seed finishes its year at 17-10 overall. Granite Bay (18-10), the sixth seed in the D-II tournament, now must go on the road to take on an explosive third-seeded Vallejo team (22-6) that beat Atwater 98-51 Tuesday. That game will top off at 7 p.m. Thursday in Vallejo. “Vallejo likes to get out and run. We will have to defend and hopefully show them a type of defense they haven’t seen,” Triebwasser said. “We will definitely have to do a good job getting back on defense to slow them down. We did a pretty good job tonight slowing down a team that likes to run.”