PREP BASKETBALL: Bear River’s stifling defense leads to big win over Western Sierra |

PREP BASKETBALL: Bear River’s stifling defense leads to big win over Western Sierra

With an unrelenting defense and a dominating performance on the boards, the Bear River girls basketball team won its second straight game at the 2nd annual Ganskie Invitational Basketball Tournament.

Playing in the friendly confines of Jack R. McCrory Gymnasium Friday night, the Lady Bruins treated the home fans to a blowout victory over Western Sierra Collegiate Academy, 68-34, and are now one win away from earning their first Ganskie Invitational title. The inaugural Ganskie invite featured only boys teams.

“We got back to the basics,” Bear River head coach Randy Billingsley said. “We played matchup man, matchup trapping, and I was proud of them. They ran and jumped the ball really well. Offensively I was much happier, they shared the ball, they looked inside, they really moved the ball around the entire court and that was exciting to see.”

The Lady Bruins overcame a sluggish start and pulled away midway through the second quarter to take a 33-19 lead into halftime. Bear River then put the game away with an impressive defensive effort in the third quarter as they outscored the Lady Wolves 15-2 and led 48-21 heading into the fourth.

Leading the Lady Bruins was Mallory Rath. The senior post player impressed on both sides of the court, notching 20 points, 23 rebounds, five steals and two blocks.

“Mallory is one of the best post players in the (Pioneer Valley League),” Billingsley said. “She averages a double-double, she was a first team all-leaguer last year. She is that girl for us.”

Also coming up big for Bear River was senior guard Katelyn Meylor with 15 points, five rebounds and three steals. Senior point guard Kylee Dresbach-Hill added eight points and eight rebounds. Senior post player Karinne McDonald scored six points and grabbed 13 rebounds. And senior guard Kayla Toft chipped in five points and notched eight rebounds.

The Lady Bruins (6-3) will now face Golden Sierra at 2 p.m. today with the tourney title on the line.

In other girls tourney action, Forest Lake Christian topped Golden Sierra, 57-45, in a second round matchup.

Leading the Lady Falcons was Johnna Dreschler with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Sophomore guard Amber Jackson added 15 points, six assists and five steals in the victory.

On the boys side of the Ganskie Invitational, Bear River won its second straight, topping Western Sierra, 76-57.

The victory gives the Bruins a shot at the tourney title if they can top Golden Sierra at 3:30 p.m. today.

In the other boys game, Forest Lake Christian fell to Golden Sierra.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email

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