GRANGEVILLE Genesee rallied back from a slow start and a 25-17 halftime deficit to defeat host Grangeville 58-51 in a Wednesday night boys basketball battle.
Grangeville's Quaid Blankenship had given his squad a 6-0 lead with a breakaway layup at about the midpoint of the first quarter, and Grangeville soon after went up by seven on an Austin Parks three. Starting the second quarter, Grangeville's offense was clicking so efficiently as to create a wide open score nifty passing play. The host Bulldogs led by as many as 10 during the first half, and remained up by eight at the break, after which Genesee turned the home crowd against the referees with an 11-2 run that put the visitors up by one, 28-27, and prompted a Grangeville time out with four minutes left in the third.
When the third quarter buzzer sounded -- just as Genesee put up yet another three having made five in the frame -- the visiting Bulldogs held a 40-34 lead.
But all the action prior to the fourth quarter was but a warmup to a run that brought the home team back from a 12-point deficit. Grangeville's late charge began with Blankenship fouling out on a blocking foul call that could easily have gone down as a Genesee charge; that brought Michael Wilson, who appeared injured after closing out hard on Genesee's third quarter buzzer-beater, back on to the floor with a bit less than seven minutes remaining. Wilson converted a second-chance basket and Josh Dame followed up with a dribble drive layup, making Genesee's lead 49-41 with 3:27 left. Alex Koberstein hit two foul shots, and Genesee answered with a couple of bonus free throws. Layton Harris then stepped in to a three pointer, sinking it to lift Grangeville within five. After Genesee split free throws, another Grangeville trey cut Genesee's lead to three, 52-49, with about two minutes to go. Grangeville gave another foul, then Jake Stokes drew a foul and made both charities to keep it at one possession. But Grangeville scored no more, and Genesee skipped town with a narrow road win over the defending 2A state champions.
Grangeville will host its regular season finale against Kamiah at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15.