Spartan boys pull out close win in physical basketball game

Strathmore defeats the Granite Hills Grizzlies 52-47 after falling behind early and then taking the lead

STRATHMORE – The game between the Strathmore Spartans and Granite Hills Grizzlies was a close as their respective head coaches. The Spartans ultimately pulled out the win 52-47, and Granite Hills head coach Bud Luther gave the Spartans their due by noting how well coached they are.

Luther pointed to the Israel Valdez coached Spartans’ physicality as the deciding factor between winning and losing on Tuesday, Jan. 25.

Luther pointed to the Israel Valdez coached Spartans’ physicality as the deciding factor between winning and losing on Tuesday, Jan. 25.

While the Grizzlies got out to a good start by sinking a three-pointer on their opening possession of the first quarter, they let Strathmore open their scoring from the free throw line. After some short runs by Granite Hills the Spartan bench took a time out. The much needed regroup allowed Strathmore to come back and bring the score 13-12 by the end of the quarter.

Valdez said he had to take several timeouts through the first half because he felt like they weren’t setting anything up. He was trying to get them into the right situation and reassured the guys that they went over everything and now they just need to put it into work. That had to be of help because in the second quarter he got more aggressive.

“In the beginning, it felt scary at first because it was going to be a close game, then knowing the coach was going to draw something up, I felt pretty good,’ Strathmore’s Gabe Bower said.

The Spartans’ aggressive play gave them the opportunity to get in front of the Grizzlies and ended the first half up 28-21. The entire second half was a game of cat and mouse, where the Spartans continued to let the Grizzlies stick around until late in the fourth quarter.

Strathmore attempted to continue to seize momentum with a game against the Woodlake Tigers on Monday, Jan. 31. That final occurred after press time. They’ll have their second game of the week against Farmersville at home, tonight, Wednesday, Feb. 2.

The Grizzlies rebounded from their close loss on Thursday, Jan. 27 when they soundly defeated the Corcoran Panthers, 51-34. They also squared off against the Sierra Pacific Golden Bears on Monday, Jan. 31. The final for that game occurred after press time. Their fourth game in eight days is tonight, Wednesday, Feb. 2 against the Lindsay Cardinals on the road.

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