Grizzlies rebound to surprise Huskies

RENO - That was no misprint Friday night. The Galena High School boys basketball team did lose to St. Ignatius 64-20 this past Saturday night in San Francisco.

This is no misprint, either. The Grizzlies rebounded at home on Tuesday night to knock Reno from the unbeaten ranks, 57-53, in an overtime thriller between teams expected to contend for championships in their respective Northern 4A High Desert and Sierra leagues.

Sam Sikes scored 18 points, including a clutch 3-pointer in the final minute of regulation that helped keep Galena (2-2) in the game and two free throws in overtime that helped slam the door shut against Reno (3-1). The Grizzlies also atoned for their 44-point loss on Saturday.

"We came off a hard loss to St. Ignatius and we had to prove to ourselves we could win the game. We had to turn our season around, everybody was feeling bad," said Sikes, a senior point guard. "We played as hard as we could. We made a team goal to shut them down and to keep the points low because when we win, we keep the points low."

Galena coach Tom Maurer echoed that.

"I'm just glad we got that stink off of us," Galena coach Tom Maurer said. "I think our kids were embarrassed, they were starting to second guess themselves, but they stepped up to the plate tonight and did a good job. They came out and played really hard and they made things happen."

They were able to contain the Huskies, who got 45 of their 53 points from the talented trio of 6-foot-11 sophomore David Padgett, 6-5 senior David Woods and senior guard Alex Gamboa. Padgett scored 20 to lead all scorers.

Galena was on top most of the way and held a 35-28 lead at the end of three quarters. Reno began the fourth period with a 10-2 run to go on top, then the Huskies appeared to take charge after Padgett drew a foul and a technical was assessed against the Galena bench. Padgett and Gamboa combined to convert all four free throws to give Reno a 44-40 lead with 2:30 left in the fourth quarter.

"They held to adversity, even when that technical could have knocked them out," Maurer said. "They came back, they played good defense, they played intelligently and got us into overtime."

Down 46-41 with 1:00 left, Galena's Mike Holmes took a pass from Joe Heaton for a layup and Sikes buried a long 3-pointer from the right side with 33.4 seconds showing on the clock. Down 48-46, Holmes took a pass from Sikes, stepped behind the 3-point arc to shoot and was fouled as Padgett blocked the shot. The 6-4 junior guard convert two of three free throws to tie the score with 10.2 seconds left.

"Here he is, a kid who played nothing as a sophomore on the junior varsity last year, coming off about two or three minutes in the game and he comes in and knocks down critical free throws to get us into overtime," Maurer said.

Galena's 6-9 Travis Williams controlled the overtime tip, which Maurer regarded as critical.

"I thought the key was winning the tip," Maurer said. "That was huge because we controlled the ball, we made them play defense and tired them out. And we got the lead."

Galena knocked nearly a minute-and-a-half off the clock before Williams grabbed an offensive rebound, turned and knocked down a jumper that gave the Grizzlies a lead they never relinquished.

Galena was assessed another technical foul on that play - this time for delay of game when the ball was slapped away after the basket - but Gamboa hit one of two free throws and then missed a 3-point attempt on the ensuing possession. Chase Altom rebounded the miss, was fouled in the process, and hit two free throws on the other end to put Galena in control of the game.

The fans got their money's worth from this game, according to ," Reno coach Dave Christiansen said.

"It was a good high school ball game," he said. "It's always been a highly intensified game between us, so I didn't expect anything less than what the crowd got tonight.

"I thought our kids battled back after being down by nine. They kept hanging and we gave ourselves a chance to win in there. We came up on the short end tonight, but I have a feeling we'll get it done later."


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