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Grizzlies forge lead, hold off Rocklin

Woodcreek falls to Nevada Union in OT
By: Robbie Enos/Roseville Press Tribune Correspondent
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Two strong defenses clashed in a Sierra Foothill League boys basketball battle between host Granite Bay High School and Rocklin on Tuesday night.

An overmatched Rocklin offense was held to six points in the first quarter, after which Granite Bay went into cruise control en route to a 55-46 victory. The Thunder (4-16 overall, 1-3 SFL) managed a hint of a comeback in the fourth quarter, thanks to 20 points and an 11-of-14 performance from the line, but the Grizzlies (11-10, 3-1) went 9 for 11 from the line to solidify the victory.

“It’s been a fight for us,” Granite Bay coach Jason Sitterud said. “It’s been kind of a struggle getting leads and then watching them slip away. So it was nice to get a lead and maintain it back up to the end. It’s just a young team getting great experience.”

Only three Grizzlies that played in the game were seniors.

Senior Nate Brillington posted a game-high 17 points for Granite Bay on strong drives to the basket and crafty lay-ins. Junior Scott Romuk snagged 13 of the Grizzlies’ 32 rebounds, and a lockdown defense forced 14 steals.

Granite Bay used mostly zone defense, opening outside shooting for the Thunder. But Rocklin failed to take advantage, hitting just two three-pointers and failing to convert on a handful of opportunities.

On the opposite end, the Grizzlies were able to force the ball inside and score in the paint.

Rocklin’s bright stars were freshman Keyshon Williams and captain Devin Moss, who combined for 25 points - more than half of the Thunder's offense.

Granite Bay will be host to league-leading Del Oro on Thursday night. The SFL continues to be a tough league, one Sitterud feels the Grizzlies are ready for.

“Our league has so much parity,” Sitterud said. “Every game is the same. I think that as we move on, it will be lower and lower scoring. On defense, we have to get some stops, and offensively, we need to take care of the ball.”

Nevada Union 61, Woodcreek 56 (OT)--Michael Mathews hit a tying three-pointer with four seconds left in regulation, but the host Timberwolves were outscored by the Miners 14-9 in overtime.JV

Granite Bay 66, Rocklin 51 – Granite Bay led 40-13 at halftime and cruised to a victory.

GRANITE BAY 55, ROCKLIN 46

Granite Bay (55)
Hansen 4 2-3 10, Ciraulo 2 3-4 7, Brillington 6 5-6 17, Bradford 2 0-0 4, Arai 0 1-2 1, Romuk 3 1-5 7, King 1 2-2 5, Pedersen 0 4-4 4. Totals 18 18-26 55.
Rocklin (46)
Cook 0 0-0 0, Valverde 0 0-0 0, Cherry 1 0-2 3, Ardissone 1 2-4 4, Gregg 4 2-3 10, Williams 3 7-8 13, Moss 2 7-9 12, Versoza 1 0-0 2, Vandre 0 2-4 2, Kniffin 0 0-0 0, Safin 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 20-30 46.

Granite Bay   20     9   9   17 – 55
Rocklin            6   13   7   20 – 46

Three-point field goals -- Granite Bay 1 (King), Rocklin 2 (Cherry, Moss). Rebounds – Granite Bay 32 (Romuk 13, Hansen 7, King 4, Brillington 3, Bradford 2, Ciraulo 2, Pedersen), Rocklin 29 (Safin 7, Kniffin 6, Gregg 6, Moss 3, Ardissone 2, Valverde 2, Vandre 2, Cherry). Assists – Granite Bay 7 (Ciraulo 2, Brillington, Bradford, Romuk, King, Pedersen), Rocklin 8 (Cherry 2, Gregg, Versoza, Vandre, Safin, Williams, Moss). Steals – Granite Bay 14 (Brillington 4, Romuk 4, Arai 2, Hansen, Bradford, King, Pedersen), Rocklin 5 (Ardissone 3, Safin, Gregg).

Junior Ian Davis led Nevada Union (11-9, 1-3) with eight of his game-high 21 points in the extra period on two three-pointers and two free throws.

Mathews and junior Tyler Milani scored 16 points each for Woodcreek (6-15, 0-4). Freshman Noah Blackwell scored 11 points and sophomore Nick Howe 10.