GRIZZLIES RIDE DE­FENSE TO WIN

Girls hoops: Golden Val­ley uses de­fense to beat Mal­ibu in tour­na­ment

The Signal - - Front page - By Ha­ley Sawyer Sig­nal Sports Edi­tor

The Golden Val­ley girls bas­ket­ball team turned the paint into its home on Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon against Mal­ibu in the North­east Val­ley Girls Bas­ket­ball Tour­na­ment at Vaughn In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies Academy, beat­ing the Sharks 60-16 for their first win of the sea­son.

Play­ing ag­gres­sively on both sides of the ball, the Grizzlies used their size and phys­i­cal­ity to their ad­van­tage, par­tic­u­larly on de­fense. Coop­ing up the op­pos­ing teams’ of­fense, Golden Val­ley only gave up 13 points and set­tled in with a 43-13 lead at the break.

“From last year to this year, we’re a lot big­ger,” said Kim­berly Ma­nary, a point guard/shoot­ing guard. “And I would say that our fun­da­men­tals are a lot stronger than they were last year and we are a taller team and we’re faster.”

Mal­ibu hit the ground run­ning at the start of the sec­ond half match­ing Golden Val­ley’s as­sertive style of play in the first half. Lianne Calvo made a state­ment by steal­ing the ball, ca­su­ally break­ing away and cap­i­tal­iz­ing on the op­por­tu­nity

with a layup.

The Grizzlies started to flaunt some of­fen­sive fi­nesse as well in the third frame. With three min­utes re­main­ing, Imani McGee shot a smooth 3-poin­ter from the top of the key to make it 54-15 in Golden Val­ley’s fa­vor.

Ma­nary and Shyann Franklin chipped in points through­out the game with the former fin­ish­ing with 18 and the lat­ter with 10.

“It’s re­ally ben­e­fi­cial,” Ma­nary said of her team’s scor­ing depth. “If the guards aren’t hit­ting their 3’s out­side, we can al­ways look in the paint and if the mid­dle is clogged up, we can al­ways take it to the three back out­side. So its good to have the ver­sa­til­ity on of­fense.”

McGee ex­e­cuted a no-look pass to Cas­san­dra Or­tiz who made a layup with 1:30 left in the third then Lind­say Ta­ian went for one fi­nal bas­ket in the quar­ter to close out the scor­ing with three sec­onds to go as the Grizzlies kept a steady flow of com­mu­ni­ca­tion go­ing.

“That’s an­other thing that has in­creased from last year. We’re a lot more vo­cal on of­fense and de­fense,” Ma­nary, who also had five steals and two as­sists said.

Ayana Peter­son Henry scored Golden Val­ley’s only two points of the fourth quar­ter, while the de­fense held Mal­ibu score­less for the re­main­der of the game.

Last sea­son, Golden Val­ley went 13-14 over­all but only achieved one win in Foothill League play, go­ing 1-9.

This year could be a lot dif­fer­ent, with the Grizzlies ex­pand­ing their ros­ter from 12 play­ers to 15 and re­turn­ing five var­sity play­ers.

“We im­proved im­mensely com­pared to our first three games,” Ma­nary said of the Grizzlies’ start to the sea­son. “We came out with more en­ergy and speed, so that re­ally helped. And we’ve got a lot of skills.”

Ha­ley Sawyer/The Sig­nal (See ad­di­tional pho­tos on sig­nalscv.com)

Golden Val­ley’s Shyann Franklin boxes out a Mal­ibu player as she drib­bles the ball in a game in the North­east Val­ley Girls Bas­ket­ball Tour­na­ment on Wed­nes­day at Vaughn In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies Academy.

Golden Val­ley 60 Mal­ibu 16

Ha­ley Sawyer/The Sig­nal (See ad­di­tional pho­tos on sig­nalscv.com)

Golden Val­ley’s Imani McGee stares down a Mal­ibu player in the North­east Val­ley Girls Bas­ket­ball Tour­na­ment on Wed­nes­day at Vaughn In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies Academy.

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