Folsom tops Granite Bay, 64-53

By: Brett Ransford/Gold Country Media Services
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Tuesday night’s matchup between Division I Granite Bay and Division II Folsom might have been a late preseason glimpse at two teams headed for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs. Folsom (8-7) hasn’t had much success of late against the Grizzlies (7-7), who blew out Folsom last year 68-49 en route to a 27-5 record and a second-round bid in the CIF Northern California Regional Division I playoffs. This year was different for both teams. Senior guard Justin Woody is one of four Folsom seniors which faced Granite Bay’s dominant team last year. He was also one of the main reasons Folsom took Tuesday’s rematch 64-53 in Granite Bay’s gym. The Grizzlies were down a manageable 25-19 at halftime, but Woody elevated his performance in the second half, scoring 16 of his 23 points. Folsom didn’t give up the lead all game and ballooned to a 17-point advantage in the third. The lead was within points at the start of the fourth, but still out of reach. “I was just ready to go,” said Woody of his second half play. “My coach told me before the game to look for my shot and to be ready to take it. In the second half I just had the confidence to do it.” Woody said in previous games he had to create his own shots. Not in this game. If it wasn’t Anthony Lee’s energy and ability to be everywhere at once, then it was Drew Whitney creating chances on dribble penetration. Whitney finished with double-digit points and Lee didn’t need score until the second half, but had three blocks inside the first minutes of the game. Granite Bay countered with 13 points from big man Scott Romuk and a breakout third quarter from Nathan Brillington, who scored eight of his 12 in the quarter. The Grizzlies however made only 8-of-19 at the foul line and 3-of-16 from three-point. All but one Folsom player scored. The team made 9-of-12 free throws and dropped in five three-pointers. Grizzly coach Jason Sitterud said his team was a bit thrown by changing defenses and responded by rushing shots or forcing offensive opportunities. “And it just kind of steamrolled from there. Hopefully, we just forget it and move on. We don’t have much time to take anything away from this game since we play Oakmont tomorrow. We’ll hope that this was just an anomaly,” said Sitterud. Both squads have two preseason games left before the start of league play. Granite Bay hosts Oakmont on Wednesday and plays what Sitterud called a game to see where the team stands against Jesuit on Thursday. Folsom coach Mike Wall stands above .500 with just under 20 games coached this season. The Bulldogs went 1-3 in a recent tournament in San Diego. He said it was effort which was noticeably improved against Granite Bay though. “I would say the intensity and effort was double than what it was in San Diego. It was night and day,” said Wall. “Our ability to share the ball and take good quality shots was way better too. Granite Bay’s aggressiveness on defense sort of played into our hands and allowed us to get to the hoop, which I don’t think they planned on.” Folsom’s final preseason plans include a trip to Monterey Trail on Friday and home against Del Oro on Saturday.