Galena picks up impressive win in Texas
It was back to the future for the Galena High boys basketball team in one of its most impressive wins of the year, a 43-37 win over Klein Collins of the Houston area on Friday in Texas.
The game figured to be low scoring with two programs that stress defense. Klein Collins came into the game allowing just 42 points a game. Klein Collins, now 18-6, is also ranked No. 8 in the Houston area and lost to Westfield, ranked No. 10 in the nation, but 11 points. Galena is now 5-5 against ranked teams this year.
After watching his team play many high scoring games this year, Friday’s contest was more to Galena coach Tom Maurer’s liking.
“A very exciting offensive game,” Maurer deadpanned. “It reminded me of the old days. This is great.”
Maurer said Klein Collins was one of the three best teams it has played this year and was in the class of Bishop Gorman and Modesto Christian, Calif. Klein Collins also featured one of the Houston area’s top defensive back prospects – if not the Houston area’s top defensive prospect – in 6-4 Franklin Mitchem, who has committed to play at Texas Tech.
“They pressure the ball,” Maurer said. “They were strong. They were physical.”
But Maurer said his team was up to the task in the physical game. “We stepped up to the plate with our physicalness,” he said.
A key to the game was Galena’s work on the boards with Eric Maupin, J.D. Peters and Luke Babbitt more than holding their own. “We didn’t give them second shots,” Maurer said.
Babbitt scored 18 points and Peters added nine points. The Grizzlies trailed 9-8 after one quarter, 19-18 at halftime and 32-31 after three quarters, but outscored Klein Collins 12-5 in the fourth quarter. Another key was foul shooting as Galena went 8-of-10 from the line.
Galena (11-5) is now 3-0 in Texas, with one more game to go against Rockwall of Dallas. Maurer was also pleased with the way his team rebounded after a subpar effort the night before against LaMarque, even though Galena was able to win 62-58 in overtime.
“It was just a great high school game for us because of yesterday there were major concerns,” he said.