Thursday Dec 11 2008
High school boys basketball
Granite Bay lights up Vista del Lago
By: Kurt Johnson, Press-Tribune sports editor
Grizzlies' threes bury Vista early
Deadly shooting from long range allowed the Granite Bay High School boys basketball team to bury Vista del Lago early on Tuesday night as the Grizzlies coasted to a 77-58 win on their home court. Junior point guard Erick Harris was the master marksman, stroking five of six three-point shots in the first half. Harris was impossible to guard, as Granite Bay used is motion offense to create open jump shots all night long. When he was not dialing long distance, Harris was tough at the front end of a devastating pressure defense, turning steals into easy baskets. His 13 points in the opening stanza was particularly instrumental as Granite Bay jumped out to a 15-2 lead before the Eagles had a chance to take a breath. While Harris scored 21 of his 23 points before intermission, the Grizzlies dominated as a team with accurate shooting up and down the lineup, complemented by tenacious defense and strength on the glass. Utilizing a three-guard set, as juniors Jake Riffice and Ryan Mottsenbocker joined Harris in the backcourt, the Grizzlies outran Vista del Lago and scored 50 points in the first half. Riffice and Mottsenbocker were both very efficient offensively, with each scoring seven points on a limited number of shots. “With the squad that we have we are going to try and play an up-tempo game and keep the floor spread out, Granite Bay coach Jason Sitterud said. “We have consistently shot a high percentage from beyond the arc, and we hope to improve our interior game as the season progresses.” The Granite Bay big men also like to launch them from deep, but consistent effort with everyone crashing the boards allowed the Grizzlies to keep the Eagles from mounting any sort of comeback. Senior forward Doug Kircher and junior forward Braden Young had their hands full all night as the most consistent performance on the Vista side came from a 6-3, 200-pound post player, junior Marques White. White was a load inside, scoring 16 points and grabbing 10 rebounds to lead the Eagles attack. Kircher scored eight points and pulled down six rebounds for Granite Bay, while Young matched Kircher on the backboards. Sophomore forward John Davis was also a factor in the paint with six points and five rebounds. In the end, the early eruption of offense by Granite Bay while Vista struggled to get and make shots early on was too much as the Grizzlies made it look easy against a fairly talented squad.