By Ryan Menzie
Signal Sports Writer
The Golden Valley Grizzlies hosted senior night heading into Friday’s matchup between the Grizzlies (2-14, 0-7) and the Valencia Vikings (5-15, 2-5), but had their night spoiled in a 52-28 loss.
The Grizzlies’ seniors had one last home game playing tough competition and Grizzlies head coach Charise Hall just wanted to see her team give it their all no matter the outcome.
“I’m proud of my girls,” said Hall. “They fought to the end. It was the most cohesive they have played all season so it was nice to see the growth and the hard work paying off. We had nothing to lose so I wanted to see them give it their all on the floor. With all the graduating seniors, there was nothing to lose so it was time to go out there and have fun.”
The Vikings got out to a quick 18-4 lead in the first quarter on their way to a big 31-12 first-half lead. Libby Oxciano led the charge early, scoring 18 points, enough to outscore the entire Grizzlies team.
The second half remained much the same with Oxciano leading all scorers with 26 points and finishing with nine rebounds and two assists.
“We came out and wanted it more,” said Oxciano. “We worked together as a team and passed the ball around to where we needed to get it. I’m always wanting to score, but I wanted to get my teammates some of their own as well. A personal goal of mine, but the main goal is to of course win games.”
Along with Oxciano, Chelsea Besina led all players with 16 rebounds to go along with her five points, three assists and three steals. Ashley Weisel finished the game with eight points, 10 rebounds and two blocks.
The Grizzlies made a second-half push and were only outscored 21-16, but with the lead already out of hand, the Vikings would hold onto the big win.
The Grizzlies were led by Lianna Calvo and Akina Ma’at, who each finished with nine points. Valery Garcia finished with five points, six rebounds and two steals while Amaya Hammons finished with five points, four rebounds and two steals.
“I thought our kids played very well in terms of passing the ball and getting everyone involved,” said Vikings interim head coach Netta Garcia. “We were missing our head coach. I got the blueprint for what to do and the girls built the house. A lot of good teams in our league come out and give it every single game. With the players that we have, people know what we’re going to do. We have to continue doing things that may make us uncomfortable at times to win ball games.”