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January 11, 2014

Easy 'W' for Matadors

After a six point loss to De La Salle on Tuesday, the Granada Matadors bounced back, pulling a decisive 76-61 at San Ramon Valley and defeating them for the third time in the last four meetings between the two.

"We just feel like we have been overlooked this season and we played with a chip on our shoulder," said Granada's Kameron Johnson.

After falling behind 5-0 early on, Granada went on a 38-8 run the rest of the first half, and took a 38-15 lead into the locker room.

Darin Anderson gave the Matadors a double-digit lead in the second quarter, and the Wolves never got within single-digits the rest of the way.

However, the 23 point lead was reduced to 10 many times in the fourth quarter, with sophomore Austin Henderson cutting the margin to 65-55 after drilling a three for the Wolves.

Henderson finished off the night strong going 4-of-5 from deep in the fourth after a terrible 0-5 performance in the first half.

Westmont-bound guard Jerry Karcewski was the only other igniter on the Wolves offense, finishing with 18 points, but the Matadors defense controlled his outstanding scoring capabilities holding him to 2-of-9 from three point range. As a team, San Ramon converted 27 percent from that range.

Forward Greg Plantenga sealed the Matadors victory after making one-of-two free throws with 36.1 seconds remaining, giving them a 76-61 advantage.

Collin Stafford and Luis Ramirez were the one-two punch for Granada. Each scored 19 points, with Stafford going 4-of-7 from deep and Ramirez making his only attempt from there.

Stafford broke the contest open after nailing a three and giving them a 33-13 lead with just under one minute remaining in the first half.

Jake Salinas also made a pair of three pointers in the third quarter, and closed with 13 total points. Johnson, a junior, is receiving interest from numerous Division one schools including the University of the Pacific and Saint Mary's, was the fourth and final Matador to reach double-figures with 11.

"As a team we want to get a home game for NCS and to compete to hang," said Granada's Johnson.

As a team, Granada converted 60 percent of three-pointers, continuing the trend of being a dominant team from lengthy range.

This became just the second loss of the season for San Ramon Valley, with its only other defeat coming to the hands of San Leandro, 66-64. None of the Wolves victories have been straightforward, handling one of the toughest preseason schedules in the area, compounding that with a league schedule in the East Bay Athletic League.


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