Each time a Golden Valley boys basketball player grasped the rim, it was just one more celebration in a dominant second half at home against Trinity Classical Academy on Friday night.
The Grizzlies won 83-32, stirring the crowd with a handful of lively dunks.
“We were able to test some of our skills and our repertoire and, you know, see if we got it,” said Golden Valley sophomore Brandon Wilson, who had two dunks for himself.
Grizzlies coach Larry Keys said the dominance that sealed the win was what his team needed after losing three games in a row.
“The thing was in all three games we were up double digits before we lost,” he said. “That’s why in the fourth quarter, I put my starters back in. Not to run up the score, but kind of to get that understanding that you have to value possessions, you have to value opportunities.”
The Knights (2-8) brought a tough physical presence early in the game, but turnovers overtook the team’s chances to advance on the scoreboard.
Whenever Trinity botched a pass or had a miscommunication, the Grizzlies (4-4) were there to capitalize.
“Just (try) to pressure them and make them uncomfortable,” said Keys of his team’s defensive strategy. “Don’t let teams set up and make good choices. We try to force you into bad decisions.”
The Knights were also without all-around athlete Caden Kulp, who has a lingering ankle injury from football. He will likely be back for the team’s Dec. 26 game against Kaiser, according to coach Tod Bernard.
Wilson, Richard Kawakami and Milan Taylor were the top scorers for Golden Valley with 19, 16 and 12 points, respectively.
Stephon Alla and Josh Jehnings were the top contributors off the bench, each with six points.
“We’re always going to go as Kawakami and Milan Taylor and Brandon Wilson go, so for them to be locked in the way they were was tremendous,” Keys said.
“The exciting part was seeing some other guys contribute, because they’re confidence needs to grow so that they can help us in bigger games.”
Tyler Lee scored seven points to lead the Knights, who beat Golden Valley, 76-67, during the 2014-15 season.