Winning wasn't everything for Grizzlies on Tuesday

Needless to say, the Galena High School boys basketball team was excited about its 57-53 overtime win at home against Reno on Tuesday night.

Despite the win, however, Galena coach Tom Maurer had bigger goals in mind when he spoke afterward.

"This was a great early season game for us. That's why we went to the Bay Area to play St. Ignatius, that's why we're playing St. Francis this week. We want to see competition," Maurer said.

Galena (2-2) didn't fare so well on Saturday night when it lost 64-20 to St. Ignatius, but the Grizzlies will have a chance to face some more good competition when they play host to three California opponents this weekend, starting with a 7 p.m. contest tonight against Bonita Vista from the San Diego area.

The Grizzlies play again Friday night at 7:30 p.m. against high-powered St. Francis (Mountain View), a team that comes into this season ranked No. 1 in California's Central Coast Section. The Lancers, 27-5 last season, are led by 6-foot-9 blue chipper David Chiotti.

Galena entertains another Bay Area foe, the Jefferson Indians from Daly City, Saturday in a 5 p.m. contest.

Tuesday night represented an early season meeting between two teams expected to contend for championships this season - Reno in the Sierra League and Galena in the High Desert League. It also represented a rematch of the Northern 4A zone tournament semifinals back in February, a game Galena won 35-34.

Has this developed into a rivalry? Well, yes and no.

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

Reno rallied back from a nine-point deficit in the second half - behind the veteran trio of 6-11 David Padgett, David Woods and Alex Gamboa - and the Huskies actually led 46-41 with one minute to go in regulation before the Grizzlies staged a comeback of their own.

Maurer didn't want to describe this as a rivalry, though.

"It's just two good programs playing other each hard and respecting each other," said Maurer, whose program has played in the Northern 4A zone championship game in each of the last four years. "I would love to play Reno. I wished they were in our conference so we could play them a couple of times because you only get better and you learn from better teams. And Reno is one of the better teams.

"You know, the South always kicks our butt (in the state tournament) because they're in battles day-in and day-out. I love good battles day-in and day-out playing here in the preseason and this was a good battle for both teams. We both got something out of this game; we can both walk away looking at films saying, 'This is what we need to do better for our league in representing Northern Nevada.'"

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