Well, here it is. I will dub it the "Harvest Classic" (unless you have a suggestion for a better name). I'm sure most of us hope it becomes a tradition for both teams to meet in the post-season, thus having a name for the game necessary—and maybe someday for the section title. Moreover, it was just the craftiest name I could think of at the time.
While Gridley, the No. 4 seed, received a BYE during the first round of the NSCIF Division IV basketball playoffs, the No. 5 Lions prevailed past No. 9 Colusa by a score of 63-58. Leading the pride of Lions once again was Romario Acosta with 23 points. Aaron Pamma, who carried on his tradition of double-doubles finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Gurbeer Kooner also put up 15 points and grabbed eight boards.
With the narrow victory, the Lions will board the bus for that dreadfully long (yeah-right) bus ride to good ol' Gridley tonight for the quarterfinal game of the NSCIF Division IV basketball playoffs. Win or lose. Whether you're a Bulldog or a Lion, you ABSOLUTELY cannot miss this game.
The only thing that separates these two schools is a tiny seven-mile stretch on highway 99, a few stores, and a ton of fields. In fact, the Bulldogs' standout forward, Tyler Abrego just barely transferred from Live Oak High School a year ago.
Abrego has averaged a double-double every game this season, with 18.6 points and 12.9 rebounds per game. Teammate Leo Espinoza has been right there with him by averaging 9.0 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. Shobi Khan is at 5.3 points per game, while Emery Haddy averages 5.2. The Bulldogs are also moving up three very promising JV players: Grayson Wedin, Taylor Miskin, and Angel Santana.
Ironically, Live Oak's star (former teammate and a friend of Abrego), is also averaging 18.6 points this season. Live Oak's Romario Acosta has totaled 410 points this season, and averaged 5.5 assists and 6 steals. Acosta's sidekick, Aaron Pamma, is not far behind; like the Bulldogs' Abrego, Pamma has averaged a double-double every game—12.8 points and 12 rebounds per game. Pamma also has averaged 5.8 assists, 4.3 blocks, and 3.6 steals per game. The final face of Live Oak's three-headed monster is Gurbeer Kooner, who has been a major asset for the Lions averaging 8.9 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.
Good luck, Gridley and Live Oak!
The game tips off tonight at 7:00 at Farmers Hall in Gridley. Don't be late!
Come say hi and introduce yourself to me, and you just might end up in the paper!