Galena girls snap out of skid

RENO -- A little patience on offense went a long way as the Galena High School girls basketball snapped out of a skid with its 67-43 non-conference victory at home against Cloverdale, Calif., on Thursday night.

Joanna Hixon and Aimee Hawkins combined to score 29 points to help the Grizzlies improve their season record to 5-4 and end a four-game losing streak.

All four of the losses came against playoff-caliber opponents, including Bear River, Calif., Reno, Douglas, and finally a 50-48 High Desert League setback against McQueen on Tuesday. so it was understandable when coach Karen Friel let out a sigh of relief after defeating the Cloverdale Eagles from the Bay Area.

"We had four tough ones and we were getting a little down, so this was a nice way to get back on the winning track," Friel said. "It's been a test for us, and it doesn't get any easier with (undefeated) Fallon coming here on Tuesday."

Patience in running the offense was key, especially during a 21-point fourth quarter run to punctuated the performance against Cloverdale (1-3).

"We've been very impatient lately. We haven't worked very hard on offense it seems like in games, so this was a nice change," Friel said. "I was happy with some of the kids out there. They stayed patient, ran the offense, they were making sure we got good shots."

The Grizzlies were up 29-17 at halftime and extended the lead to 18 points early in the third period before Cloverdale mounted a comeback. Caitlin Bradford knocked down a pair of 3-pointers as the Eagles cut the deficit to 38-31 with 3:07 left in the third quarter.

Hixon scored on a drive to the basket and added a free throw to complete a three-point play that extended Galena's lead back to 10 and Hawkins fed Stalie Eliopulos for a jumper to make it 46-33.

Hixon hit a jumper and Hawkins converted a steal into a layup as the Grizzlies continued their momentum into the fourth quarter. Leda Mora passed to Chrysta Lyle for an open jumper to give the Grizzlies a 56-38 lead and Jessica Bailey fed Hawkins for a baseline jumper that made it 58-40.

The exclamation mark came on the game's final basket when Stacey Raits gave up a shot from inside the paint and passed to Jenn Molinari for a layup.

Hixon gave a solid all-around performance with 17 points, nine rebounds, five steals and four assists. Hawkins added 12 points on a night when nine Grizzlies reached the score column. Seslee Howell also had eight points and four rebounds.

"We've been telling her that she doesn't shoot enough," Friel said of Hawkins, whose clutch shooting helped Galena pull out overtime semifinal and final victories at the Northern 4A Regional Tournament last February. "We can't rely on Joanna to score all the time, so we want her to take more shots."

Bradford, a junior guard, finished with three 3-pointers and 15 points for the Eagles, who continue their Northern Nevada road swing with a game against Wooster tonight and Reed on Saturday.

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