It was a great season for Gridley High School basketball at both the boys and girls level.
The Bulldog boys went 25-7. won their BVL title and despite falling to Corning in the CIF Northern Section Division 4 title game, they advanced to the revamped state tournament, where they made it all the way to the semifinals before falling to Colfax.
The Bulldog girls, meanwhile, were 19-9 and also won their BVL crown. They advanced to the quarterfinals of the CIF Northern Section Division 4 tournament before falling to Willows.
It was a great year for Bulldog basketball at all levels, as a matter of fact: All six Gridley teams, including JV and freshman teams, won their league championships.
The Bulldogs’ memorable year on the basketball court is reflected in the Gridley Herald’s inaugural All-Area Basketball Team.
Bulldog coaches Chay Dake (boys) and Becca McCray (girls) have been named Coaches of the Year.
Bulldog senior boys standout Tyler Little is the Player of the Year, and Bulldog girls Kennedy Tull and older sister Maddyson are co-Players of the Year.
Dake, in just his second season, led the Bulldogs to one of their best seasons in recent years. And McCray, who has coached the Bulldog girls since 2011, guided Gridley to a league title despite expecting 2017-18 to be a rebuilding year after losing several key seniors.
Little, who has been a key member of the Bulldog varsity since his sophomore season in 2015-16, grew both in height and stature on the court in 2017-18, becoming one of the most dominating players in the area.
He averaged 17.1 ppg. and 11.1 rpg in 2017-18. He shot 55 percent from the field and was one of the Bulldogs’ surest foul shooters (73 percent).
Little hopes to play college basketball after completing a two-year mission for the LDS Church.
Little is joined on the Gridley Herald All-Area Boys Basketball team by teammates Brian Wilkerson, a senior guard who averaged 11.9 ppg., 4.1 rpg. and 4.4 apg; and freshman Grant Tull, who notched 11.4 ppg., 3.4 rpg. and 2.1 apg. this season, adapting nicely to the varsity level as a freshman.
Other members of the team include Live Oak’s Ashvir Singh, a senior who averaged 20.7 ppg to help lead the 12-12 Lions to a playoff spot; and Biggs’ Daniel Velasquez, a senior who averaged 15.3 ppg and 6.3 rpg.
For the girls, the Tull sisters were quite a tandem on the court for Gridley. Kennedy, like her brother Grant, took to the varsity level immediately, sliding seamlessly into the point guard spot vacated by the graduated Stephanie Cardenas. Kennedy averaged 15.4 ppg., 4.1 rpg. and 3.3 apg.
Her older sister Maddyson, a junior who has been a varsity standout since her freshman season in 2015-16, continued to develop into one of the best girls players in the area. This season, Maddyson averaged 20.9 ppg. and 10.6 rpg.
Other members of the 2017-18 Gridley Herald All-Area Girls Basketball Team include Live Oak’s Leslie Fregoso, a senior who averaged 17.2 ppg. Fregoso earlier this year committed to play women’s soccer at UC-Davis.
Live Oak senior Ellie Miskin (9.9 ppg.) and Biggs junior Megan Collins (12.2 ppg.) round out the team.