Looking for its first Foothill League win, Golden Valley boys basketball traveled to West Ranch to take on the Wildcats on Tuesday.
Forcing turnovers on the Grizzlies’ first two possessions, the West Ranch full-court press stifled Golden Valley, forcing an early timeout by head coach Larry Keys down 4-0 just a minute and thirty seconds into the game.
Creating offense through defense for four quarters, West Ranch was able to capture its third Foothill League win 64-38.
Playing one of its best defensive games of the year, West Ranch (13-8 overall, 3-2 in Foothill League) was able to hold the visitors to one point in the first quarter and nine in the first half.
“I thought we did a great job,” said West Ranch head coach Ron Manalastas. “We came out with great energy and good effort. With this group we have to start off aggressive that’s the only way you’re going to get the effort and that’s what we did, we came out quick.”
Pounding the ball inside, Wildcats’ Robbie Myers was able to maneuver inside the paint scoring seven of his 11 points in the game in the first quarter.
With West Ranch’s Clyde Seo picking up his third foul with 2:15 remaining in the second quarter, Jonah El Farra came off the bench grabbing offensive rebound after offensive rebound.
El Farra finished the game with eight total rebounds, six of which were offensive.
“Believe it or not he plays more on the perimeter, but with Clyde moving to perimeter I needed someone else to give Robbie a spell and he’s come in and done a great job,” Manalastas said of El Farra. “He approached us at the beginning of the season and wanted to know how he could get more time and sure enough he has worked and earned the minutes.”
Golden Valley (3-16, 0-5) countered by bringing on point guard Ryeland Larson whose blinding first step and quick dribble allowed him to get inside the lane to drop it off to teammates. But still, Golden Valley trailed 36-9 at the half.
The Grizzlies were able to battle back in the second half with Josiah Gatewood crashing the boards creating second-chance opportunities.
The Wildcats were able to subdue the charge by the Grizzlies in the second half thanks to key bench play by Dylan Stuman and Nikko Clarke, who opened up the court for their teammates.
Stuman finished tied for the lead in scoring with 11 points and two rebounds. Clarke finished with five points and two rebounds.
“We played good as a team,” Stuman said. “We started out really fast in transition which opens up the perimeter because we usually struggle against zone. In the second half we were settling for open shots instead of getting the ball inside. We just need to finish games better and not play the scoreboard.”
Both teams are back in action on Friday at 6:30 p.m. with West Ranch hosting Canyon while Golden Valley visits Newhall to take on Hart.
Saugus 82, Hart 56
Adrian McIntyre led Saugus with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Camron Nale followed with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Kyle Santiago had eight points and five assists and Nathan Perez poured in 14 points in the win.
Saugus is now 14-6 overall and 4-1 in Foothill League play.