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High school boys basketball

Grizzlies take Slam Division at San Diego Surf 'N Slam

Granite Bay beats team from Alaska in finale
By: Kurt Johnson, senior sports editor
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Closing out its trip to San Diego in style, the Granite Bay High School boys basketball team put on an impressive show in winning the Slam Division at the Surf ‘N Slam Tournament Tuesday. The Grizzlies topped Colony High School from Palmer, Alaska 51-37 in the tourney final to bring home the big trophy. “Our trip to San Diego was a great experience on a variety of levels,” Granite Bay coach Jason Sitterud said. “The kids had a good time and we played well enough to win the tournament. It was one of our better defensive efforts and it was nice to finally win a tournament after being the bridesmaid the last two tournaments we had played in.” The outside shooting of junior guard Jake Riffice and the inside play of senior Doug Kircher were the keys to the championship round win, and Kircher was named to the all-tournament team for his performance in the three-game event. Granite Bay beat Liberty of Washington in Saturday’s opening round by a 67-49 count. Erick Harris and Dylan Long were hot from the perimeter as the Grizzlies started out strong and gradually built a lead as the game progressed. John Davis and Doug Kircher were both tough in the paint, giving Granite Bay an inside presence. The signature game of the weekend was Granite Bay’s come-from-behind 58-57 semifinal win over King’s of Washington. “King's was a great team,” Sitterud said, “and we trailed the entire game until the last shot.” The Grizzlies were down three with just under a minute to play when Doug Kircher hit a baseline 15-footer to close the gap to one. After a solid stop at the defensive end, Ryan Mottsenbocker found the bottom of the net with just three seconds to play to give Granite Bay its first lead of the contest, and the second time in five games that Mottsenbocker played hero in the late stages of a game. “I could not be happier with the way our pre-season went,” Sitterud said. “The kids have worked really hard and have bought in to what we are trying to do. Our league is going to be a battle every night, and hopefully we can continue to compete.”