It could be the half that serves as the turning point for the Galena High boys basketball team.
Galena picked up its most impressive win in quite some time when it advanced to the semifinals of the Santa Cruz, Ariz., Tournament with a 59-48 win over Apache Junction from the Phoenix, Ariz., area on Saturday. The win came after the Grizzlies struggled to a 40-23 victory over Mingus, Ariz. earlier in the day.
The Grizzlies, 3-0 in the tournament, advanced to a semifinal matchup at 8:30 p.m. Monday against Mercer Island, Wash., one of the nation's top teams. Galena beat Mercer Island three years ago on Mark Cofer's three-pointer at the buzzer in the semifinals of a tournament in Austin, Texas.
Galena coach Tom Maurer said the win over Apache (8-4) reminded him of some of his program's better victories of the past.
"They're really good," said Maurer about Apache. "I thought we played about as good as I've seen Galena's teams play.
"I just felt like it was one of the best games at Galena. I think it showed the kids what they can do. I thought that it was awesome."
Derek Lorenzen scored 23 of his 30 points in the second half as Galena rallied from a 32-18 halftime deficit. Lorenzen scored 17 points in the third quarter as the Grizzlies outscored Apache 23-8 to take a 41-40 lead. "They shot the lights out," said Maurer about Apache in the first half.
"I looked at Derek and I said, 'Derek you need to score 30,'" said Maurer about what he told Lorenzen at halftime.
Maurer said Apache did everything to stop Lorenzen, including double teams, to no avail. Lorenzen had plenty of support as Chad Seidenstricker scored 10 points and Ryan Bristol and Iain Hill each added eight points. Maurer also said his team's pressure defense was a key to the turnaround in the second half.
Against Mingus, Galena led just 15-10 at halftime, but outscored Mingus 15-5 in the third quarter to take control of the game. Lorenzen picked up four fouls and didn't score in the first half. He score all of his season-low 12 points in the second half. Seidenstricker added nine points.