Reno coach Matt Ochs, left, shakes hands with Galena coach Brian Voyles before the start of the Northern Region Division I boys basketball game played at Galena High School on Tuesday night, Feb. 17, 2015.
Galena came out with a ton of energy, and then found an unexpected power source.
The Grizzlies played stifling defense as they opened the Division I Northern Region playoffs with a convincing 71-50 win over Reno on Tuesday at Galena.
Zach Williams scored 24 points, 16 in the second half, as Galena advanced to face Spanish Springs in the semifinals. Their game will be at 7:15 Thursday at Carson.
For Williams, it was his season-best scoring output.
“I’ve just been mentally focused all day. I came in with the right attitude. It was one of my better effort games,” Williams said. “I felt like the defense kind of carried the offense.”
In the other games, Carson beat North Valleys, 66-49, and Bishop Manogue beat Reed, 53-51. Manogue and Carson will play at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the other semifinal.
Josiah Wood added 23 points for Galena and Dillon Voyles added nine.
“Our energy before the game was really high. Energy leads to talking. Talking leads to defense,” Williams said. “We all know each other, what we’re doing.”
Meanwhile, Reno couldn’t buy a basket in the early going, watching layup after layup roll off the rim, or 3-point attempts bounce into the hands of the Grizzlies.
“Galena’s really good. We didn’t make shots and they did,” Reno coach Matt Ochs said. “We had some uncharacteristic errors in our zone rotation. Some ill-advised fouls.”
Galena led 8-0 before Reno scored with 2 minutes, 47 seconds left in the first quarter. By then, the tone had been set. The Grizzlies led 32-14 at halftime.
Reno got within 12, 36-24 with 2:43 left in the third quarter, but the Grizzlies soon pulled away again.
Spanish Springs beat Galena, 53-41, on Jan. 9.
“They’re the only team we haven’t smacked yet. The only team we haven’t beat yet,” Williams said. “We’re a very defensive focused team, so the less points we give them on the board the better chance we have to win.”
Wyatt Williams led the Huskies with 18 points, all in the second half.
Galena coach Brian Voyles said the Grizzlies are playing good defense at the right time of year.
“The last seven games, it’s been about defense. Pressure the ball, contest the shot and box out. That’s what it is,” Voyles said. “If we keep playing defense the way we’re doing we’ll always have a shot.”
CARSON 66, NORTH VALLEYS 49 at Carson: The Senators raced out to 11-0 lead in the first 3:14 to advance to face Manogue.
Jayden DeJoseph scored 13 points, Asa Carter and Tez Allen had 12 and Kyle Steele added 10 for Carson.