Fighting to keep their footing in a five-way tie for first-place in Foothill League, Golden Valley came into Canyon High Friday night looking to snap a two-game losing streak.
The Grizzlies (10-12 overall, 4-2 Foothill) did just that, winning 73-55 over the Cowboys, despite a first quarter in which the home team took a brief lead.
“We felt like we needed to get back to basics tonight,” Golden Valley coach Larry Keys said. “Two-game losing streaks become three-game losing streaks if you don’t get back to basics.”
Strong full-court defense allowed Canyon to keep the game close in the opening frame, as both Camden Apsay and Aaron Berko converted steals into points, the latter of which gave the Cowboys a 7-6 lead with five minutes remaining.
Golden Valley responded with a 9-5 run fueled by six points from Richard Kawakami, allowing the Grizzlies to take a 16-11 lead after the first quarter. GV never trailed again.
The sophomore added nine points in the following frame, finishing with 15 first-half points as Golden Valley took a 33-24 advantage into halftime. He ended the game with 22 points.
“I wanted to come out with energy and be a leader,” Kawakami said.
Canyon (5-17 overall, 0-6 Foothill) crept back into the game in the fourth quarter behind an Apsay 3-pointer and a bucket from Josue Valencia, making the score 51-45.
Tahj Thompson helped the Grizzlies close the game on a 22-10 run with three successful 3-pointers to the tune of 11 fourth quarter points.
Valencia, who finished the match with 14 points, and Darien Leveque dropped five points apiece in a third quarter highlighted by brilliant ball movement between them and Steven Aguirre, ending in a corner-three for Leveque.
The Cowboys couldn’t keep pace, however, trailing Golden Valley 48-38 entering the fourth quarter.
Canyon looks to garner their first Foothill League win of the season when they host Hart on Tuesday.
Golden Valley squares off with Valencia at home on Tuesday, searching for a second-straight season sweep.