Folsom boys & girls sweep Granite Bay on the roadBy: Steven Wilson,
With time winding down in the fourth quarter and the game on the line, Folsom High’s Jordan Ford silenced the Grizzlies student section packed inside Granite Bay High’s gymnasium Friday night with a barrage of 3-pointers.
The senior point guard scored 12 points in the final period and 34 in the game as the Bulldogs claimed a 74-68 victory to remain unbeaten in SFL play (8-0) this season.
“I’ve always had a knack for taking over games,” Ford said after the game. “More shots just seem to go down for me in the fourth quarter and I think it’s because of my focus — I just try to lock in.”
After watching a seven-point third quarter lead dwindle down to three in the final two minutes of regulation, the Bulldogs turned to their star and he carried them to victory. Ford drilled back-to-back threes from the left corner to keep Folsom out in front for the duration of the second half.
In fact, no Grizzlies defender got a hand in Ford’s face on two of his three shots from beyond the arc until the ball had already left his hand.
“I was a little surprised about that, but sometimes that happens when the defender gets lost or someone has to switch,” Ford admitted.
With a number of screens from the Bulldogs offense and an even number of switches from the Granite Bay defense, Ford made the Grizzlies pay from deep when it mattered most.
“I don’t know why you would ever do that,” Folsom’s coach Mike Wall added. “I’ve seen him do this so many times — he just wills his team to a victory sometimes. When other guys start to shy away, he just steps in and fills the gap and he really carried us in that fourth quarter.”
Although Folsom is still unbeaten in the Sierra Foothill league, the win was the team’s closest margin of victory this season at six points — less than half of their next closest, which was a 13-point win over Woodcreek earlier this month.
“They came ready with a big crowd and it felt like a playoff atmosphere,” Ford explained. “So it was a good to be battle tested like that.”
The Grizzlies student section really started rocking in the fourth quarter as Granite Bay mounted a comeback. The noise caused Folsom to miss six free throw attempts in the second stanza.
“Our kids did not respond well to this environment,” Wall said. “I have to give credit to the fans from Granite Bay — they did a hell of a job. We have to become a lot tougher.”
Folsom will have a quick turnaround with a game at Rio Americano (7-11 overall) Saturday night. Tip-off for that game is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Folsom girls handle business
In the earlier contest, the Folsom girls basketball team used a big third quarter to beat Granite Bay, 65-46. The Bulldogs outscored their hosts, 20-6 in the third frame to take a double-digit lead into the fourth quarter.
With the win, Folsom sits in second place at 6-2 in the SFL and 14-6 overall. The Bulldogs have a game scheduled for Saturday night at Clovis West High School.