Two years ago, the Gridley High School boys basketball team met up with Corning for the CIF Northern Section Division 4 championship at Butte College.
As the late Yogi Berra might say, it will be deja vu all over again this Friday night as the two teams will once again collide with the section title hanging in the balance.
Wednesday night at Farmer’s Hall, the No. 1 Bulldogs dispatched No. 5 Lassen, 60-40.
The No. 2 Cardinals were a 54-40 winner over No. 3 University Prep.
At Farmer’s Hall, the Bulldogs (23-5) fell behind 3-0 out of the gate when the Grizzlies hit a 3-pointer in the opening seconds.
They responded with a 14-2 run and never trailed again.
Gridley led 19-9 at the first stop and 34-28 at intermission. The Bulldogs put this one on ice in the third quarter, when they outscored the Grizzlies, 13-4 to take a 15-point lead into the final stanza.
That was the backbreaker for Lassen, according to Grizzlies head coach Paul Moore.
“We couldn’t hit any shots,” Moore said. “You aren’t going to win a playoff game when you only score four points in a quarter.”
Lassen dropped to 21-8. Moore has been pleased with his team’s showing in 2017-18.
“We really weren’t expecting to be here,” Moore said. “But we won a playoff game and we’re going to the state tournament.
Due to a change in the state playoff configuration by the CIF, the top four teams in each section make it to the state tournament now.
Second-year Gridley coach Chay Dake likes his team’s chances when the Bulldog defense holds teams below 50 points.
Mission accomplished Wednesday night against Lassen.
“Our defense was key out there tonight,” Dake said.
Tyler Little led the Bulldogs with 25 points and 20 rebounds.
Friday night’s matchup against Corning will be a rematch of nonleague game between the two teams earlier this month. The Bulldogs took that contest, 61-48.
Friday night’s section championship game at Butte College is slated for a 7:45 p.m. tipoff.
In another area semifinal contest, it was the No. 3 Biggs girls falling to Redding Christian, 45-32 in a CIF Northern Section tilt.
The Wolverines fell behind early and were never able to catch up in this one.