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PREP ROUNDUP: Bulldogs slip past Blazers
Gridley hoops tops Lindhurst
Leo Espinoza scored a game-high 24 points and the Gridley High boys basketball team used its size advantage in the paint to earn a 72-64 win over Lindhurst at Farmer's Hall in Gridley on Wednesday night.
Senior forward Tyler Abrego added 22 points for the Bulldogs, who held off a handful of runs by the Blazers to earn the nonleague victory.
"It was a back-and-forth game, but we led the entire way," Gridley coach Nathan Link said. "They would make a run and cut it to four, then we would stretch it out to double digits. Our size was the difference."
Gridley (8-5) played the game without the services of senior forward Mat Scott, who will be out until after Christmas break with an injured back.
Lindhurst is dealing with its own injury issues as the Blazers are without senior forward Malik Payton and lost Tim Endicott to injury on Wednesday night.
This has forced coach Rick Wise to move star Cedrick Thomas, the tallest player on the team, from his natural position of point guard into the post.
"We're just short a few men right now," Wise said. "We have kids playing out of position and the injuries are taking their toll. We hope to back at full strength soon."
Senior guard Devin Ward led the Blazers (6-6) with 23 points. He also picked up five steals and three rebounds.
Thomas grabbed 10 rebounds to go with eight points and five assists. Junior Alex Yang dropped in 16 points with four rebounds and two assists.
Wheatland 60, Highlands 54
In Wheatland — Taylor Balogi dropped in 16 points, Khalil Collier scored 10 and the Pirates cruised to a nonleague win over the Scots at home.
Josh Crawley recorded nine points and nine rebounds for Wheatland, which improved to 10-4 on the year with the victory.
Wheatland 79, East Nicolaus 47
In Nicolaus — Crawley had a big game with 22 points and 15 rebounds to power the Pirates past the Spartans on Tuesday night.
Balogi and Michael Woods finished with 11 points each.
Pierce 60, Hamilton 55
In Hamilton City — Oscar Dorantes scored a team-high 21 points to propel the Bears to a Sacramento Valley League victory over the Braves.
Andy Corona added 15 points for Pierce (6-3), which moved to a perfect 3-0 in the SVL.
Wheatland 35, Lindhurst 33
In Olivehurst — Halen Mariano scored 15 points and totaled nine steals to lead the Pirates past the Blazers in a nonleague matchup of Yuba County rivals.
Kassidy Heuvelhorst scored 13 points for the Pirates (7-5) to go with nine rebounds, three steals and three assists. Marisa Mullen tacked on eight rebounds.
Sarah May and Vanessa Salas each scored seven points for the Blazers (2-6) while Reyna Zuniga chipped in with six points.