Hart girls’ basketball (6-0, 1-0) is off to its best start in decades.
The undefeated Indians carried their momentum into league play on Friday and defeated the hosting Golden Valley (4-2, 1-1), 75-40, snapping the Grizzlies’ four-game win streak.
Hart had three girls in double figures as well as a pair of double-double nights. Senior Laney Grider racked up a game-high 24 points. Sophomore Morgan Mack followed with 15 points and 12 boards while Elyse Mitchell registered 10 points and 15 rebounds.
The Indians got off to another quick start thanks to Mitchell, who nearly registered her double-double in the first quarter. Hart was able to force tough shots and run in transition.
“Our offense is just smooth,” said Grider. “Any player can go to the basket, any player can score so it’s nice to know that if you drive you always have that kick-out, and they can always knock down that three. We have that trust in each other.”
Alyssa Taufaasau would catch fire in the second quarter. The junior’s efforts would keep Golden Valley alive but the team could never jump back into striking distance.
Taufaasau led the Grizzlies with 19 points and five rebounds.
Golden Valley would find some success in a zone defense after Hart was able to break down their opponents in man. The Grizzlies forced some bad passes but the Indians would again adjust and find the hoop.
Mack would end the first half with a big buzzer-beater 3-pointer to take a 44-27 lead.
The Grizzlies were able to hold Hart to just 13 points in the third quarter but just weren’t able to outscore the visitors yet again.
The Indians had the win in front of them and never lost sight of it. The team outscored Golden Valley 18-4 to end the game with its fourth 20-point or more win of the season.
“I think it’s our new defense and just us playing hard and so good as a team,” said Mitchell on her team’s success. “Since we got our new defense, we’ve been playing really, really good. So it’s been working for us and with our strengths. We make sure to play hard and as a team.”
Hart will remain unsatisfied and strive to improve throughout the year.
“I like to not put a limit on things,” said Grider. “I always like to know that there’s growth. So right now we’re reaching one goal at a time and when we meet that goal, we’ll go for the next goal because we’re always getting better. We’re always improving and we want to go into the playoffs with that mindset. We’re never gonna relax. We’re just gonna keep grinding until the end.”
The Grizzlies are still in good shape after the loss. Golden Valley is off to a hot start of its own with four wins in its first five games.
Taufaasau’s sharpshooting and playmaking will be able to keep the Grizzlies in position to score throughout the season. Senior Adonijah Currie has put up some solid stat lines this year and will continue to be a threat under the basket. Currie finished Friday’s contest with 11 points and five rebounds.
The Grizzlies will be on the road in action every day this week. The team first heads to Chatsworth on Monday for a tournament game before their first shot at Canyon on Tuesday. After two more days of tournament games, Golden Valley will travel to Saugus. Both Foothill League matchups are slated for 5 p.m.
Hart was in action on Saturday with a few tournament games but will return home Tuesday for the group’s Foothill League matchup with the Centurions at 5 p.m.
“We have a lot of great chemistry,” said Mitchell. “We’re always hanging out together. In school, we’re always hanging out and I think it reflects on the court a lot. We know each other’s strengths and we know what players can hit this and what players can do that.”