FINLEY — The girls on the Granger basketball team have a pretty good idea about what people around the state must have been thinking, seeing the ugly losses they’ve coughed, wheezed and sniffled through over the last two weeks.
“A lot of people probably think we’re going downhill, “ senior forward Lyndsay Oswalt said after the Spartans — with all of their players reasonably healthy for the first time in more than three weeks — routed River View in a SCAC District loser-out game Saturday at River View.
“They don’t know we’ve had four players out with the flu.”
Several days after a virulent case of flu began running through the Spartans on Jan. 16, they began a string of five straight losses. The once eighth-ranked Spartans fell far from the rankings and found themselves, after their Tuesday district-opening loss to Burbank, with their backs firmly against the wall.
“It’s been really hard,” said sophomore guard Angelica Oliveros. “Our top six kids haven’t been together since Jan. 16. We’ve had to have some JV players up to play with us, in practices and in games, and we’ve had to battle through.
“Now we’ve had four practices with everybody together, and we’ve been able to practice really hard.”
The difference was obvious on Saturday. The Spartans (15-7) had everything going on Saturday. Oswalt scored 10 first-quarter points —passing the 1,000-point career scoring mark, en route to an 18-point day, and Granger held River View to 7-for-46 shooting and a combined five points over the second and fourth quarters.
Brook John, the 6-foot-2 center who was hit by the flu worse than any of her teammates, had a sensational 14-point, 14-rebound, five-block night and shot 7-for-11 from the field. Oliveros had 14 points, four steals and eight rebounds and freshman Lindsay Carpenter had four assists and nine rebounds.
The victory means the Spartans can clinch a regional berth by winning next Thursday against Connell-Zillah loser.
“Being able to practice with all of our players this week really feels great,” Oliveros said. “Our coach (Andy Affholter) told us our swagger is coming back.”
GRANGER — Heitzman 0, Angelica Oliveros 14, Brook John 14, Lyndsay Oswalt 18, Carpenter 4, Vasquez 2, Villa 0, Arceo 0, Rodarte 0, Solorio 0. Totals 23-52 5-9 52.
RIVER VIEW — Wilhelm 3, Smith 7, Dickinson 2, Williamson 2, Robertson 4, E. Vasquez 0, Munson 0, Walker 2, Washington 1. Totals 7-46 5-14 21.
Granger 18 11 10 13 — 52
River View 5 2 11 3 — 21
Highlights: John (G) 7-11 FG, 14 rebs., 5 blks, 2 assts; Carpenter (G) 4 assts, 9 rebs; Oliveros (G) 4 steals, 8 rebs; Heitzman (G) 3 assts; Robertson (RV) 9 rebs, 2 assts.