Galena boys blow out Sparks, 64-40
RENO — After more than an hour of fuming, Galena boys head coach Tom Maurer was finally able to explain why he was so angry about a 64-40 High Desert League win over Sparks on Friday night at Galena High.
“We’re twice as good as of a team than we showed tonight,” Maurer said. “I’m an old school man. I know high school basketball and defense wins championship. I just felt we took two steps backward tonight. We had to go back to zero again.”
The Grizzlies were playing just their fourth game at home this season but didn’t show any signs of discomfort–at least not offensively. Galena (9-12 overall, 4-1 league) shot 47 percent from the field and the same from behind the 3-point line. Mikey Ferguson scored a team-high 16 points and sophomore reserve Derek Lorenzen had 14 for the Grizzlies.
“We shot good, we shot well,” Ferguson said. “We just found the open guy and worked it around and made shots. We’re trying to play as a team and nobody’s being selfish.”
Sparks held an early 7-6 lead, then saw the Grizzlies go on a 12-0 run and take a 20-9 lead. Tommy Myers knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and Ferguson added another in the spurt.
In the second quarter, the Railroaders’ Saul Garcia, who led the team with 16 points, converted a 3-point play to make it 20-17. Lorenzen then scored six points in an 8-0 Galena run as it led 28-17. The Grizzlies shot 50 percent from the field in the first half and were 6-of-10 from behind the arc.
“Every time they would try and go on a run, we would come right back,” Ferguson said. “We gotta’ win the games at home. We’re just playing it game by game.”
Sparks (8-9, 1-5) never got within 10 points of the lead in the third quarter but probably should have. The Railroaders made 5-of-7 shots in the quarter but also turned it over four times, which never allowed them to put together a serious run.
“I’m not concerned about the offense,” Maurer said. “We gotta’ win with defense. I thought we did a good job against Reed and Spanish Springs. They got one kid who could handle the ball, that Wilcox kid and we knew it. He should’ve been dead in the third quarter but he wasn’t.”
The Grizzlies went on a 10-2 run to start the fourth quarter and led 55-36 after back-to-back baskets from Sheldon Hutchins, who scored seven points. Galena, which knocked off league favorite Reed last week, scored the final seven points of the game.
Anthony Johnson scored 12 for Sparks and Myers finished with nine for the Grizzlies, all on 3-pointers. Galena shot 9-of-15 in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Railroaders 19-6. Dalton Turnbow added six more for Galena, which needs a win at McQueen on Tuesday to remained tied with the Raiders for first place.
“I’m telling you right now, I’m concerned about getting the fourth seed,” Maurer said. “I think McQueen could be the most dangerous team right now. And get Fallon next Saturday and I don’t think we match up well with them.”