By Ted Apodaca
Garden Grove High boys basketball opened its season with a 52-44 win over Western High in a non-league game on Saturday at Ocean View High.
The Argonauts and Pioneers were part of the Coaches for a Cause event that raised money for Multiple Sclerosis. It also gave the Argonauts a chance to kick off their season before tournament season opens this week.
Garden Grove had controlled much of the first half, as the Argonauts led 33-15 at halftime. But Western battled back in the second half as they cut the lead to 39-32 by the end of the third quarter.
Garden Grove regrouped in the fourth quarter to take back control of the game. Western had cut the lead to 43-38 before the Argonauts went on a 5-0 run to extend the lead to 48-38 with 2:50 left in the game. The Argonaut defense and free throw shooting sparked the run.
Western cut the lead to 48-42, but Bryant Laquindanum hit a baseline three pointer to push the lead back to 51-42 with just over a minute left. Sebastian Castro led the Argos with 16 points and Alexis Ortega added 12 points, including seven free throws in the fourth quarter to protect the lead. Laquindanum and Kevin Lizalde each chipped in eight points.
Garden Grove Head Coach Ken Frank said it was a good start for his team, but noted that they need to improve on shooting and pushing the tempo. He said they expect to be a strong defensive team.
“I love our kids’ effort,” Frank said.
Frank said the mistakes the team made were typical for a season-opener and he expects them to find a rhythm quickly.
“I think we’ll be better next week,” Frank said.