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Join the club: Granite Bay loses late

Grizzlies fall to Bethel in first round of Division I playoffs
By: Bill Poindexter, Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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The trend for area basketball teams in these mostly short-lived Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs is — well, was — a late jamming of the gears, a hiccup or five in quick succession, that 10-sneeze fit that came out of nowhere.

Roseville High School’s boys? Done in by an 18-2 run early in the fourth quarter in a Division II outbracket game on Feb. 15. Oakmont’s girls? Tied at 58 with 2:12 remaining Tuesday night in Patterson, the Vikings trailed by five a minute later.

Granite Bay made it three of a kind Wednesday night. Tied at 65 with 2:51 remaining, the Grizzlies went dry for the next 2:16, and Anthony Pedersen’s long three-pointer left them two short in a 74-72 loss to visiting Vallejo-Bethel in the first round of the Division I boys playoffs.

Based on the seeds, this would be a considered an upset by some who pay attention to such things, but the 12th-seeded Jaguars (15-13) had two superior athletes that gave the No. 5 Grizzlies (19-9) trouble in 6-foot-5 senior Noah Wellington and 6-4 senior Gary Wilson.

Wellington scored 14 of his game-high 31 points in the fourth quarter. His three-pointer gave Bethel a 58-56 lead, his first three-point play gave Bethel a 65-63 lead, and his second three-point play of the period widened the Jaguars’ lead to 70-65 with 1:23 left.

Wellington also dealt six assists, including two to the high-flying Wilson for impressive dunks in the first half, when Wilson went for 16 of his 21 points. Wilson also had nine rebounds and several blocked shots.

Senior Edward Moore, meanwhile, won’t wake up Thursday morning fretting over his 4-of-18 shooting night. He’ll probably stretch, yawn and smile remembering back-to-back steals that turned Bethel’s three-point deficit into a 62-61 lead in the matter of 16 seconds.

These teams also met in the first round last season, and Moore scored 24 points in fifth-seeded Bethel’s 81-62 win over No. 12 Granite Bay in Vallejo.

Wellington and Wilson didn’t even play at Bethel last season. Wellington averaged 9.3 points in seven games for an average Elk Grove team that went 12-12. Wilson transferred from Fairfield-Rodriguez.

The Grizzlies used a balanced scoring attack, aggressive defense and rebounding and four three-pointers in the second quarter to take a 40-38 lead into the locker room. But Granite Bay committed an uncharacteristic 23 turnovers, including six in the final quarter.

Granite Bay’s seniors went out guns blazing in their final high school game. Center Scott Romuk led the Grizzlies with 19 points, and he crashed the boards for eight of his 11 rebounds in the second half. Pedersen scored seven of his 12 points in the fourth period. Jacob King scored five of his 10 points in the final quarter, including two free throws that gave Granite Bay its final lead at 63-62 with 3:32 remaining. Sherron Bradford scored seven of his nine points in the first half, ditto Daniel Romero.

 

VALLEJO-BETHEL 74, GRANITE BAY 72

 

Bethel (74)

Martinez 1-4 0-1 2, Wilson 9-14 3-6 21, Moore 4-18 1-4 10, Wellington 12-21 5-6 31, Wallace 1-8 2-2 4, Williams 2-5 0-0 6, Daniels 0-0 0-0 0, Ha 0-1 0-0 0, Johnson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 29-68 11-19 74.

Granite Bay (72)

Pedersen 4-7 2-2 12, Ciraulo 2-4 0-0 4, Romuk 7-17 5-11 19, Bradford 3-7 2-2 9, Naughton 2-6 0-0 4, Jackson 2-4 1-1 5, King 3-8 3-4 10, Romero 3-10 1-2 9. Totals 26-63 14-22 72.

 

Bethel             18   20   13   23 — 74

Granite Bay   18   22   14   18 — 72

 

Three-point goals — Bethel 5-17 (Wellington 2-3, Williams 2-5, Moore 1-5, Ha 0-1, Wallace 0-3), Granite Bay 6-16 (Pedersen 2-3, Romero 2-6, Bradford 1-3, King 1-3, Romuk 0-1). Total fouls — Bethel 17, Granite Bay 16. Rebounds — Bethel 32 (Wilson 9), Granite Bay 37 (Romuk 11). Assists — Bethel 12 (Wellington 6), Granite Bay 13 (Pedersen 4). Turnovers — Bethel 19, Granite Bay 23.