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Fletcher shoots Golden Valley boys basketball into final

TRACY -- Keith Hunter isn't going to jinx his team again.

The Golden Valley coach put the blame on his shoulders for his team's recent shooting struggles. You see, it was Hunter that put the kibosh on his boys, when he commented how well they shot the ball in a season-opening win over Fresno Roosevelt.

Golden Valley hasn't shot the ball well until...

Friday night.

Merrill West didn't know what hit it.

Alex Fletcher couldn't miss. The Golden Valley sharp-shooter drained seven of Golden Valley's 15 3-pointers in a 92-62 win over West in the semifinals of the Tracy Winter Holiday Classic.

Golden Valley will face fellow Central California Conference foe Turlock in tonight's championship game at 7:30 p.m. at West. Turlock defeated Stagg 66-63 in the other semifinal game on Friday.

"I'm not saying anything," joked Hunter, whose team improved to 9-1. "It is what it is. I will say that I've seen us take those same shots in games this year."

Golden Valley put on a shooting clinic, highlighted by a stellar performance by Fletcher (29 points).

Fletcher's six 3-pointers in the first half had West coach Steve Thornton pleading with his players to stay with the GV senior.

"It's an awesome feeling when you feel like you can't miss," Fletcher said. "A lot of the credit goes to my teammates for setting up good shots for me. I had the easy part of just shooting it."

Fletcher knew it was his night when he sank a 27-foot shot as the buzzer sounded at the end of the first quarter.

"That was a long ways out," he said. "I knew I was on after that."

It wasn't just Fletcher.

Seven different Golden Valley players hit 3-pointers, including two each from Donte Scott and Justin Wootten.

"Good shooting can be contagious," Fletcher said. "You see one person make a couple shots and all of sudden it looks easy."

Golden Valley took control of the game early.

Fletcher hit three treys, including the bomb at the buzzer, in the final three minutes of the first quarter to open up a 22-12 lead.

GV and Fletcher never cooled off.

Fletcher hit two more 3-pointers to start the second quarter and Wootten hit a shot from behind the arc to extend the lead to 35-18 with 5:13 left in the second quarter.

Everything was set up with GV's full-court press and unselfish passing on offense.

"It's amazing when we're going like that," said John Sykes, who added 19 points. "I love it. It was a tremendous effort by everybody out there."

West never threatened the rest of the game.

Scott scored 10 of his 14 points in the second half.

"We're tough to beat when we hit 15 3-pointers," Hunter said. "I think we played great. I couldn't be more proud to be their coach tonight. They were unselfish. They worked hard. Their defense was outstanding. They were solid."

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