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Movin' on up: Grayson, Morris net 17 apiece

Matt Thissen flipped the right switch.

Playing like their season was on the line, Thissen's Golden Valley girls started the fourth quarter with a 17-2 run on their way to a 45-38 win over Grace Davis on Tuesday night in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I play-in game.

No. 16 Golden Valley (15-13) now will face No. 1 Sacramento Kennedy in the first round of the tournament proper on Thursday.

"We said to ourselves this is it," said Golden Valley's Becky Morris, who scored 17 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.

"It's all or nothing. This is either our last game or we play on Thursday."

That same switch must have been turned off at halftime.

Golden Valley went scoreless for more than seven minutes during the third quarter.

Thissen watched as GV's six-point halftime lead turned into a 33-28 deficit heading into the fourth quarter.

"Our offense went stale," Thissen said. "Everyone just stood around waiting for somebody else to do something.

"We finally realized that turning the ball over as many times as we did wasn't going to work."

Erin Ovalle jumpstarted Davis' run with seven straight points midway through the third quarter.

Davis scored 12 straight points before Porsha Grayson finally ended GV's scoring drought with a free throw late in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the Golden Valley girls looked like a different team.

They were quicker to the ball, they looked to run and they attacked the basket.

"We played the fourth quarter with a sense of urgency," Thissen said. "We wanted to push the ball tonight.

"I don't know if it was the nerves of playing in a playoff game, but we were reluctant the whole game to get the ball to Porsha on the wing or Surman (Purewall) and just letting them go."

Grayson scored seven of her 17 points in the final quarter.

"We all wanted to move on," Grayson said. "For some of us, this is our first time in the playoffs."

The reward is that match-up with the top seed Kennedy.

"All we know is they're the No. 1 seed," Thissen said. "I'll start making phone calls and figuring them out."

Shawn Jansen is a Sun-Star sports reporter. He can be reached at sjansen@mercedsun-star.com or via phone at 385-2462.

Sac-Joaquin Section Playoffs

Play-in Game

GOLDEN VALLEY 45

GRACE DAVIS 38

at Golden Valley

Grace Davis 12 7 14 5 -- 38

Golden Valley 12 13 3 17 -- 45

GRACE DAVIS -- Katie Vengris 2, KashiTomacich 2, Meghan Devlin 5, Erin Ovalle 9, Breighana Castillega 11, Michelle Davis 8, Whitley Lucas 1. Totals 13 10-14 38.

GOLDEN VALLEY -- Surman Purewall 6, Porsha Grayson 17, Allison Cruz 1, Alaina Stewart 2, Carinna Simms 2, Becky Morris 17. Totals 17 9-15 45.

3-pointers: Davis 2 (Devlin 1, Ovalle 1); Golden Valley 2 (Grayson 2); Total Fouls: Davis 17, Golden Valley 11; Fouled out: None.

Records: Davis 16-11; GV 15-13.

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