One Foothill League girls basketball team guaranteed that it would finish the season with a win.
Golden Valley snapped a 16-game league losing streak with a 53-40 victory Friday over West Ranch, securing its first Foothill win since Jan. 19, 2016 against Saugus.
The Grizzlies (9-18 overall, 1-9 Foothill) also halted a 12-game skid overall, relying on 19 points from Serene Tyus and 13 points from fellow senior Alexxys Banuelos to prevail for the first time since a 50-47 overtime victory Jan. 4 against Arleta.
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“It feels really good. To win my last game, I feel accomplished,” said Tyus, who made seven of eight free throws in the second half.
“But I’m more proud of my teammates than myself. We played for each other and we didn’t give up. This was our game and we really wanted to win it. We wanted to beat them on their home court after they did the same thing to us.”
Golden Valley couldn’t protect a six-point, fourth-quarter lead Jan. 24 and suffered a 46-43 loss to West Ranch (6-21, 1-9).
After falling behind by 10 points following 10 minutes Friday, the Grizzlies scored 20 unanswered points in a nine-minute span in the second and third quarters and held West Ranch without a field goal for 12 minutes. The Wildcats never got closer than six points the rest of the way.
“I knew if I picked it up on defense, then everyone would follow. I don’t like losing and I knew this was my last chance to get a win,” said Banuelos. “We finally figured it out. We knew what our mistakes were from the first time and we knew how to fix them. It’s amazing to finish off our senior year with a bang.”
West Ranch had a three-game winning streak snapped against Golden Valley, making only 14 of 35 free-throw attempts. The Wildcats’ normal leading scorer Eleanor McQuillen was limited to one field goal and scored five points, with Izzy Singer leading West Ranch with 11 points.
“I’m proud of the way we stepped it up on defense,” Tyus said. “The whole team was receptive to what I was saying on defense and they really helped me a lot. This is the first time all year that we played that hard on both offense and defense.”
Since Golden Valley didn’t finish with a .500 overall record, it wasn’t eligible to petition for an at-large berth in the CIF Southern Section Division 3A playoffs.