Grizzlies defeat Tigers in league opener

Granite Bay 72, Roseville 50
By: Robbie Enos, Press Tribune Correspondent
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The Sierra Foothill League opener between Granite Bay and Roseville came down to one thing: defense. The Grizzlies had it while Roseville couldn’t find it.

Granite Bay won 72-50 on the heels of a great defensive effort. The Grizzlies forced 16 steals and held Roseville to just eight points in the second quarter. They showcased a mixture of press, trap, and man defense to hold the Tigers offense down.

“It took our best effort,” Granite Bay head coach Jason Sitterud said. “Roseville has played well all year, so we needed to make sure that we stayed in front of our guys.”

On offense, Granite Bay played a slow, half-court game and spread the floor. The squad wracked up 17 assists and helped sophomore Kendrick Jackson score a game-high 20 points. Jackson was nearly unstoppable on drives to the bucket thanks to solid passes and his mean hops.

“I was just focused on getting my teammates involved,” Jackson said. “We just wanted to come out hard and get this first victory.”

Grizzly point guard Anthony Pederson scored 12 points and dished out five assists. Eleven different players scored on offense.

“We’ve gotta stop somebody,” Roseville head coach Greg Granucci said. “We’ve gotta stop people and we’ve gotta rebound. We can’t just let Granite Bay get to the basket. We just didn’t stop them. They penetrated really well and did a great job.”

Not a single player scored in the double digits for Roseville. They only had one field goal in the fourth period. They were also out-rebounded 40-28. They were down 21-16 after the first quarter, but fell behind badly in the second quarter, when they turned the ball over seven times.

Roseville will try to regroup against Woodcreek next Tuesday, Jan. 15. Granite Bay will face rival Del Oro that same night. It’s still a long road ahead for both teams, as coach Sitterud noted the strength of the league.

“We just need to compete,” Sitterud said. “It’s tough wherever you play. Everybody knows each other.”