Grizzlies fall, 60-54, in tough loss to Corning
Lassen High School's varsity basketball team dropped a hard-fought contest to the Westside League's top team Friday night before a large, enthusiastic home crowd. Even though the noisy fans banged the bleachers and chanted, "Defense! Defense!" in the contest's closing minutes, the Corning High School Cardinal put the game away, winning by a six-point margin, 60-54.
Although the Grizzlies lost the game, the varsity squad played the Cardinal tough, but couldn't manage to hold onto the lead down the stretch in the second half.
"We had our chances," said Paul Moore, the Grizzlies coach. "We played with them very well, although they did a better job holding their composure at the end. They made some big plays and hit some big shots, and we didn't take advantage of our opportunities at the end of the game."
Despite the painful loss, Moore spoke highly of his team and their future.
"I'm pretty pleased with the great performance by our kids," Moore said. "They're the best team in the league, and we played with them most of the night. I think we can play with anyone in the league."
With the loss, the Grizzlies fell to 1-2 in WSL play and 5-14 overall. The Cardinal improved to 3-0 in WSL play.
Ben Baker and Chad Yancy led the Grizzly offense with 18 points each, and Mitch Lively pumped in 14 points.
The Grizzlies travel to Orland on Tuesday and face Gridley at home at 7 p.m. Friday night.
The contest with Orland could be a defensive struggle, challenging the Grizzlies' ability to stop a long-range, 3-point assault.
The match up with Gridley is one of size versus speed. The quicker Grizzlies will have to stop a tree-top team sparked by Chad Parker, a seven-footer.
"Gridley is huge," Moore said, "and Chad Parker is a pretty good player. We've seen them play. They're big, but we're quicker. I think we can give them some problems with our speed."
The Grizzlies downed Las Plumas, 57-47, last Tuesday.
Baker stuffed 14 points and snagged 14 rebounds. Lively scored 13 points while Chris Peck and Nathan Trush poured in 10 points apiece.
Baker played a sparking defensive game against Las Plumas, holding Todd Brannon, to only 8 points.
Coming into the contest, Brannon had been averaging 19.5 points per game.