Granite Bay looks to prove worth in mighty SFLBy: Cameron Salerno
Despite a 6-6 finish in Sierra Foothill League play last season, the Granite Bay boys basketball team still found itself fifth in the standings and sitting at home for the postseason. However, once again the SFL won’t be a cake walk.
In fact, the SFL got stronger in the offseason. The league booted Nevada Union and Woodcreek from the and added a powerhouse from the Capital Valley Conference in Whitney. In order to make it back to the postseason, Granite Bay will need to be at the top of it’s game all season.
In the early part of the young season, the Grizzlies pulled off a road win at Vacaville but fell in the next three to Amador Valley, Mission Prep and Roseville in the NorCal Tip-Off in Rocklin this weekend.
“I’ve seen a lot of good things out of the first two games of the season,” Granite Bay head coach Jason Sitterud confessed. “We are a really young team. We are just trying to get our guys in the game and get them that experience.”
Despite tough league play looming and non-conference play looking just as stiff, the Grizzlies have much to look forward to. Despite losing seniors Ryan Smith, Patrick Lambey and Ryan Haug to graduation, the Grizzlies have a lot of returning talent.
Jacob Ellis, Cobe Weeks and Adam Honer return this season as players who saw significant minutes last season. Doug Christie, Jr., son of the former Sacramento Kings great, will also see a increase in minutes from last season.
“We have a lot of guys on our team that work hard,” Sitterud said. “Any of them can step up on any given night.”
Leading the Grizzlies at the point, will be a unfamiliar face. Sophomore Jack Milne will assume the point guard role this season and will be relied on for his motor and scoring ability.
“(Jack) is just a bulldog,” Sitterud said. “He is always in the gym early putting up shots because he wants to be successful. As a sophomore point guard, experience is what you need, and I think he is getting that in the early parts of the season.”
Granite Bay will open up league play Jan. 4 versus Oak Ridge, which is a team that is projected to be atop the SFL standings.
“The SFL historically, top to bottom, is one of the best leagues in the area,” Sitterud said. “We have to do the little things this season down the stretch and if we can do that, we will be okay.”