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Golden Valley torches Pitman

There was no letdown this time.

The Golden Valley boys basketball came out focused and it showed.

Alex Fletcher hit five 3-pointers in the first quarter as GV jumped out to an 18-1 lead and cruised to an easy 73-43 win over Pitman on Wednesday night at Cougar Arena.

"We definitely had a chip on our shoulder for this one," said Fletcher, who finished with 17 points.

"They beat us last time and even last year they beat us twice. We were ready to go."

The game was much different than the 64-57 loss at Pitman a month ago.

Fletcher and company couldn't hit a shot from anywhere in the first matchup.

Wednesday night they didn't miss.

Golden Valley made its first nine shots of the game, including all five of Fletcher's 3-pointers.

John Sykes penetrated and found Fletcher wide open from outside.

"That's a sign of coming out of the locker room ready to play," said GV coach Keith Hunter, whose team remained in a first-place tie atop the Central California Conference with Merced at 9-2 and 22-4 overall.

"Fletcher was on fire for a minute. He can make five or six shots in a row.

"I like watching him shoot because it usually looks good."

Sykes dazzled the Golden Valley crowd with three acrobatic dunks.

He finished with 22 points, seven rebounds, five assists, two blocks and three steals.

"I've had at least five people ask me how we lost to (Pitman) last time," Hunter said.

"They played much better at their place and we didn't. We went about 12 minutes without scoring at Pitman.

"I had to watch that tape three times this week. It nearly killed me watching it."

Pitman (6-5, 17-7) never threatened to get back into the game.

The lead never slipped less than 15 points and Golden Valley removed any doubt by starting the second half with a 12-2 run to extend the lead to 51-24 with 3:41 left in the third quarter.

Golden Valley can clinch at least a share of the CCC title with a win at Atwater on Friday.

"We have one more game and it's the most important game of the season," Fletcher said. "All of our focus is on Atwater right now.

"We have to be ready to go."

At Golden Valley

Pitman 9 13 11 10 -- 43

Golden Valley 27 12 20 14 -- 73

PITMAN -- Robert Beale 2, Derek Nidey 4, Chase Torba 2, Jaspreet Bassi 8, Matt Lavender 5, Sam Baker 5, Chris Netiss 1, Edgar Lopez 6, Dominic Romeo 6, Amar Randhawa 4. Totals: 15 9-18 43.

GOLDEN VALLEY -- Daniel Garcia 2, Scott Livesay 2, Richard Thomas 5, Donte Scott 8, James Stockton 8, John Sykes 22, Alex Fletcher 17, Justin Wootten 8, Garrett Hill 1. Totals: 28 8-20 73.

3-pointers: Pitman 4 (Lopez 2, Bassi 1, Baker 1), Golden Valley 9 (Fletcher 5, Wootten 2, Scott 1, Thomas 1); Team Fouls: Pitman 20, Golden Valley 17; Fouled Out -- None.

Records: Pitman 6-5 CCC, 17-7 overall; Golden Valley 9-2, 22-4.

JV -- GV won. Freshmen -- GV won.

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