MERCED — Scott Thomason was glad to get this one out of the way.
The Sierra High boys basketball head coach earned his 300th career victory in the team’s season opener on Wednesday, as the Timberwolves toppled Golden Valley 66-44 behind Jess Spivey’s 30-pound outburst.
He was on the cusp of tallying No. 300 last season, when he guided the program to its first-ever Sac-Joaquin Section championship. The 67-51 final-round victory over Valley Oak League archrival Weston Ranch was his 298th.
“When you get to be as old as me you pick up some wins along the way,” Thomason joked.
It was back to business as usual for the Timberwolves on Wednesday. They outscored Golden Valley 13-2 in the second period to lead 31-17 at halftime. The improved defensive effort was backed by better shooting in the second half, when Parmvir Singh, who totaled nine points, buried all three of his 3-pointers. Noah Ault and Ryan Brock also hit key 3s to help break it open in the third quarter.
It was otherwise the Jess Spivey Show. With standout guard Daniel Wyatt on the school’s NorCal Bowl-bound football team, the 6-foot-5 forward shouldered much of the load offensively and was able to do damage from almost any spot inside the 3-point arc.
“We’ve been telling him the last couple of weeks that nobody is going to be mad at you if you score 30,” Thomason said. “We want him to be aggressive. He has really improved his game; he made some tough shots inside, ran the floor very well and hit a couple mid-range jumpers. He’s confident and ready to go.”
Collin Hayes and Cyrus Allen each had 10 points to pace the Cougars.
Sierra welcomes Merced for its home opener on Friday.
Modesto City Classic
East Union 78,
MODESTO — Gyse Hulsebosch poured in 18 points and four 3-pointers to lead the Lancers, who overcame a 24-pound effort by Johansen’s Maurice Woods at Grace Davis High.
Austin Miller made good use of his size advantage, scoring most of his 16 points in the paint. Malik Thomas added 12 points and was also a catalyst on defense for East Union, which continues round-robin play against Downey today starting at 4:15.
Gregori 62, Lathrop 46
MODESTO — At Gregori, Lathrop held a 25-22 halftime advantage but was outscored 22-10 in the fourth quarter against the tournament co-host.
Junior Ballard registered 16 points to pace the Spartans. Idowu Olalaye added 10 and Deshawn Kelley contributed nine. Lathrop struggled to contain 6-foot-5, 285-pound Blake Evans in the post. Evans led the Jaguars with 15 points.
The Spartans face Modesto at 3:30 today.