Grizzlies claw way to zone championship |

Grizzlies claw way to zone championship

Dave Price, Tribune News Service

There was little doubt where the ball was going when it got down to crunch time in the Northern 4A Regional Tournament boys championship game on Saturday night. The Carson Senators looked to Ricky Correlli. The Galena Grizzlies to Derek Lorenzen.

Lorenzen had the final say in the end as the sophomore forward knocked down five of six free throws in the final 35 seconds as the Grizzlies sealed a 60-55 victory against Carson before a packed crowd of more than 2,200 at Morse Burley Gymnasium.

Lorenzen finished with 21 points to share game-high scoring honors with Correlli and help Galena capture its fifth tournament championship in seven years. Not bad for a team that only stands 15-15 overall for the season.

“We just feel we’re a bunch of no-names who are peaking at the right time,” Galena coach Tom Maurer said. “This was a great win because Carson is a dynamic team. Tonight, we were fortunate enough to finish it.”

The Grizzlies weren’t always so fortunate during the regular season, but Saturday night they led by 10 points early in the fourth quarter and then held on at the end. Lorenzen scored nine points in the fourth quarter and he was the one who had the ball in his hands on the ball at the end.

“We lost games to Fallon and McQueen in overtime when we had the lead,” Maurer said. “I thought we were in trouble when Correlli hit that 3 to make it a two-point game, but Derek did a phenomenal job at the line. He took it to the next level tonight.”

Recommended Stories For You

Correlli buried a 3-pointer from the top of the key off an assist from Ed Jaquette to cut Galena’s lead to 55-53 with 41 seconds remaining. Correlli nearly came up with a steal on the other end moments later, but Carson’s senior guard was whistled for his fifth personal foul instead. That sent Lorenzen to the free throw line and he converted both shots to extend Galena’s lead to 57-53. Lorenzen made his last two free throws with eight seconds left, giving the Grizzlies a 60-53 lead.

Correlli scored 15 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, including a string of 11 in a row during a three-minute span when the Senators cut Galena’s lead from 46-36 to 50-47.

Even though Carson missed an opportunity to win its first Northern championship since 1995, coach Bruce Barnes was pleased with the effort of the Senators (18-10).

“I thought our guys busted their butts for 32 minutes tonight,” Barnes said. “I think we’re playing good basketball right now. Everybody is on the same page, they’re playing hard, and all of this means a lot to them.”

Gary Borst and Jaquette scored eight points each for the Senators. Dalton Turnbow added 14, Tommy Myers 12 and Mikey Ferguson nine for Galena.

Carson advances to the 4A state tournament and a first-round contest against Valley, the No. 2 seed from the Sunrise Region on Wednesday at Lawlor Events Center. Galena will open against Durango, the No. 3 seed from the Sunset Region on Wednesday.