The magical 2017-18 season is over for the Gridley High School boys basketball team.
The No. 2 Bulldogs fell to No. 3 Colfax, 52-49 in a CIF Division V semifinal contest Tuesday night at Farmer’s Hall.
With the loss, the Bulldogs finish 25-7, including a perfect 8-0 on the road. Colfax moved on to Saturday’s NorCal regional finals against No. 1 Argonaut.
Tyler Little led the Bulldogs with 12 points. Brian Wilkerson had 11. Brandon Lara had 10 to round out a trio of Bulldogs in double figures and Grant Tull chipped in with 9.
This contest was a tight one all the way: The two teams were knotted 9-9 at the first stop; Colfax led 23-22 at intermission; and Colfax had a slim 39-37 lead with eight minutes to play.
The Bulldogs led late on this one, 49-45, but weren’t able to close it out, according to Gridley head coach Chay Dake.
“We needed another few free throws and another rebound or two,” Dake said.
Still, Dake said the Bulldogs can be proud of the 2017-18 season, which saw Gridley win the BVL championship and advance to the CIF Northern Section Division 4 finals.
The Bulldogs went a perfect 10-0 in league play.
“To go undefeated in league was pretty special,” Dake said.
The Bulldogs lose seven seniors off this team Tyler Little, Brian Wilkerson, Brandon Lara, Randy Miller, Ahmed Khan, Brayden Lenzer, Jakob Props and Nickalus McCracken.
Little, Wilkerson, Lara and Miller were starters.
But the Bulldogs have a number of good players coming up from the lower levels:
The Gridley JV and freshman teams both won their league titles as well.
Next year’s team will feature returning players such as rising sophomore Grant Tull; rising junior Wyatt Dreesmann, and rising senior Emedel Guerrero, a guard who was injured for much of 2017-18.
“We’re not really going to have to rebuild,” Dake said.
“We’re just going to reload.”