It’s been a pretty good start to the 2017-18 prep basketball season for both the Gridley boys and girls basketball teams.
Both teams are off to a 3-0 start in Butte View League play. The Gridley boys are 14-5 overall; the Bulldog girls are 11-8.
The Gridley girls bested Wheatland last Friday night, 56-46. The Gridley boys also knocked off the Pirates in their last outing, winning by a convincing 73-31 margin.
Junior forward Maddyson Tull had a monster game to lead the Bulldogs over the Pirates, with 30 points and 19 rebounds for a double-double; her sister, freshman point guard Kennedy Tull, had 16 points, five rebounds and four assists. Lauren Erickson chipped in with six points and 17 rebounds.
For the Gridley boys in their road win over the Pirates, a huge first quarter outburst made the difference, as the Bulldogs outscored Wheatland 27-9 in the frame to set the tone for the night.
Second-year Gridley coach Chay Dake likes where his team is heading into the home stretch of the season, but said there are a few things for the Bulldogs to shore up.
“We need to work on our defense,” Dake said.
Dake said he’s fortunate to have a great coaching staff, including David Tull, who has been around Gridley basketball for many years and has a son, freshman Grant, on the team.
He also has a couple of former players, Quinn Spring and Sam Cota, helping out. Cota and Spring were part of the Bulldogs’ 2015-16 that won the first GIBT game for Gridley in 15 years on its way to a CIF Northern Section championship.
Nick Struyf guides the Bulldog JV and Saad Khan handles the freshman squad.
For Gridley girls coach Becca McCray, meanwhile, the key so far this season has been team chemistry.
That includes a good group of girls who like each other and have learned and accepted their roles, McCray said.
While 2017-18 was shaping up as a bit of a rebuilding year after the losses of key players off last year’s team, it really hasn’t worked out that way.
McCray recently brought up a few players from the JV squad, and those players have meshed well with the varsity unit, McCray said.
Both Bulldog teams have seven regular season contests left.
The Gridley girls were slated to travel to Paradise Tuesday night. They host Oroville Friday night.
The Gridley boys, meanwhile, hosted Paradise Tuesday night and travel to Oroville Friday night.