AUBURN — Back in the postseason for the first time in a decade, Golden Sierra’s stay wasn’t long. Despite four Grizzlies in double figures, host Forest Lake Christian won Wednesday’s first-round CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division V playoff game 86-69.
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The quick elimination did not take away from Golden Sierra’s successful season.
“This season has been awesome,” Griz coach Al Toney said, “We have achieved so many firsts. We had a 14-13 record overall and 6-6 in (the Sierra Delta) League, which is the first in 10 years. We made playoffs for the first time in 10 years also. We landed Peter (Biersteker) first-team all league and me, coach of the year. The boys gave me their all and that’s all I could have asked for.”
Both teams came out with desire to win. The Falcons grabbed a quick 12-0 advantage on Golden Sierra’s shaky defense as the fast pace had the Garden Valley squad on its heels until Biersteker nailed a three-pointer. Biersteker, in his final time in a Grizzly uniform, tallied 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists and one block.
The Grizzlies adjusted and chipped away at their deficit that stood 29-11 after the opening quarter. Golden Sierra outscored Forest Lake 23-17 in the second to trail by a dozen at the break.
Micah Wever’s layup opened the third quarter followed by Nick White with a couple of putbacks and senior Kyle Shiba (three points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals) with several free throws but the Falcons were up to the challenge and outscored Golden Sierra by eight to lead 70-50 going to the fourth.
In his final game, Grizzly senior Jason Yurgelevic scored 13 points, hauled in two rebounds, had three assists and made a steal. White had a double-double on the night with 12 points and 13 rebounds while Wever threw in a team-high of 16 points with eight rebounds. Sam Holter chipped in five points and Dakota Haddock and Nick Anaya each added three points.