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Gridley Herald

Gridley Boys Basketball Crowned as Top Dogs in D-II

Mar 01, 2024 09:16AM ● By Steven Bryla, photos by Libby Tolman
Gridley junior guard Luis Murillo drives into the lane and goes to the basket in the Bulldogs 62-50 victory over University Prep on Saturday, February 24 in the NSCIF Division IV championship at Shasta College.


SHASTA, CA (MPG) - The Gridley Bulldogs boys’ basketball team reclaimed their place atop the CIF Northern Section Division IV bracket for the first time in eight seasons as the Bulldogs beat the University Prep Panthers 62-50 in the championship on Saturday, February 24 at Shasta College.

Gridley was down nine at the half and some players expressed to the Herald it was one of the worst first halves they have played all season, but went into the locker room confident for the second half being within single digits.

Bulldogs head coach Nathan Link told the Dispatch that they struggled with the University Prep physicality and defensive pressure in the first half but a big bucket towards the end of the half to cut the lead to single digits gave them good momentum.

Link added that Gridley shots weren’t falling in the first half and the Bulldogs are a streaky team, but once they start going in, lookout as they make it difficult to be beaten.

Gridley senior forward Aaron Kullar said in the second half they went to a 2-3 zone defense and that helped cause the Panthers to struggle and make shots.

The Bulldogs went on a couple runs to tie the game in the third and eventually took a two-point lead to enter the fourth quarter. Link and Kullar told the Herald that making a few (4) three-point shots in the fourth helped propel the victory for Gridley.

Bulldogs senior forward Shmaas Khan and guard Travus Boyd along with Kullar told the Herald all the early workouts at 6 a.m. and the late practices when no one was looking all paid off.

Khan added the tightness of the senior group as most of them have played with one another since seventh grade and he remembers going to Gridley basketball games and watching the older kids play when they were in middle school.

“It’s great to be the big kids now and I’m happy I was able to win it with my senior brothers,” Khan said.

Khan led the Bulldogs with 17 points in the game. Kullar added 16 and had nine points in the final quarter for Gridley.

The Bulldogs were given the No. 11 seed in the CIF Division IV State Playoffs and traveled to San Francisco this past Tuesday and played at Lincoln High School.

Bulldogs Gridley Boys basketball

The Gridley Boys basketball team poses for a photo after the Bulldogs 62-50 win over University Prep on Saturday, February 24 at Shasta College in the NSCIF Division IV championship.


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