Galena boys basketball falls to Bishop Gorman | NevadaAppeal.com

Galena boys basketball falls to Bishop Gorman

JOE SANTORO
Special to the Appeal

RENO — There were no books, chalkboards or desks to be found anywhere in the Galena High gymnasium this weekend. But the Grizzlies’ boys basketball team went to class just the same.

“We”re all learning,” Galena coach Tom Maurer said after Saturday’s 58-46 loss to the Bishop Gorman Gaels. “I’m learning, too. If I’m in the right frame of mind, and if I really am a good teacher, then we’ll learn from this and eliminate the mistakes we’ve been making.”

The loss to Gorman was coupled with a 70-63 loss to the Foothill Falcons on Friday night at Galena to open the season for the defending Class 4A state champions.

“I saw some bright spots,” said Maurer after the loss to Gorman, a school that has won 11 state titles in the past and is expected to be among the state’s elite once again this year. “That (Gorman) is a great offense. And we held them to 58. So that is a positive sign.”

It was the Grizzlies’ offense, however, that struggled against Gorman’s pressure defense.

“They spread us out and trapped us and that killed us,” Maurer said.

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Galena, like in the loss to Foothill, had just one player score in double figures (Luke Babbitt with 17). Babbitt scored 57 of the 109 Galena points combined in the two losses this weekend to the Southern Nevada schools.

Maurer, though, was pleased to see a better balance between Babbitt and his teammates against Gorman. Babbitt outscored his teammates 40-23 against Foothill but against Gorman his teammates outscored him, 29-17. Markis Robinson, Jake Hess and Garrett Womack each added six points for the Grizzlies and Jake Mansfield had five.

Babbitt, who made 14-of-27 shots against Foothill, was 6-of-16 against Gorman.

“We got some better contributions from some other guys (against Gorman),” Maurer said. “So that was another positive to take from this.”

Galena led 13-11 after one quarter as five different Grizzlies scored. Womack scored on a layup off a pass from Babbitt for a 13-9 lead with two minutes to go in the opening quarter.

The Grizzlies, though, then lost the game in the second quarter. Gorman converted nine of its 16 shots and outscored Galena, 20-6, to take a 31-19 halftime lead. The Grizzlies missed nine of 12 shots in the quarter as Babbitt scored all six of his team’s points.

Gorman went on a 13-2 run over a four-minute span to turn a 15-13 Galena lead into a 26-17 Gorman advantage. Guards Quinton Dailey and Kylel Coleman each had a dunk and a layup during the run and Blake Moore added a 3-pointer from the corner.

Galena also turned the ball over eight times in the quarter on the way to a 27-turnover night.

“I have to believe that 27 turnovers is a big reason why we lost this game,” Maurer said. “A good high school team should have no more than 12 turnovers in a game. We need to work on eliminating those mistakes.”

The Grizzlies, who will play at Reno Tuesday night (7 p.m.), did go on a 10-3 run over the final three minutes of the third quarter to cut Gorman’s lead to 45-36. Robinson had a layup and hit a short jumper to jumpstart the run. Babbitt also put back an offensive rebound and Womack added four points in the final minute.

Robinson then drove the lane for a layup to cut Gorman’s lead to 45-38 just 40 seconds into the fourth quarter. But three consecutive turnovers on the next three possessions killed any momentum the Grizzlies might have generated.

Moore and Jordan Hill each had layups and John Loyd hit a jumper to up Gorman’s lead to 53-40 with 2:25 to play. Mansfield hit a 3-pointer with a minute to go to top off the Grizzlies’ offense for the game.

Gorman, which was eliminated from the Sunset Regional last February in the first round, won the game from the field, converting 26-of-58 (45 percent) shots. The Gaels were just 2-of-7 from the free throw line. Galena shot just 39 percent (17-of-44) from the field. Against Foothill, it was 20-of-44 (45 percent).

Maurer, though, was satisfied that the Grizzlies did their homework after the Foothill loss.

“I think they did learn from that game,” Maurer said. “They learned how to play hard (against Gorman) for the entire game. We did a better job of attacking the basket on offense. And although Gorman did have some layups, we did a good job of limiting that. We just have to keep getting better and keep learning each other.”