Caleb Wood utters barely more than a half-dozen words on the court during any game. But when the Galena senior wants to make his presence known, he does.
Wood scored seven straight points in slightly more than a minute late Friday night to help lift the No. 1 Grizzlies past No. 4 Damonte Ranch, 52-47, in front of a hostile Mustangs crowd.
"The players know when he's going to get real aggressive, when all he wants is a pick," Galena coach Brian Voyles said. "He doesn't say it, but you can see it in his face."
Wood's spurt began with three free throws following a Damonte technical foul and flipped a two-point deficit into a three-point lead with 1:10 to play. After the free throws, Wood used a high screen to add a three-point play and a driving layup on Galena's next two possessions.
"Something just clicked in my head and I kind of took over the game," said Wood, who had 12 points in the fourth quarter and finished with a game-high 23. "It just clicked in my head. I knew my team needed me."
Wood teamed with backcourt-mate Max Erickson for 27 of Galena's 31 second-half points. Erickson had eight in the third period, seven in the fourth and finished with 17.
The Grizzlies (17-3, 7-1 Sierra) outscored Damonte, 15-8, after the technical on Sean Pinching for something he said to a Galena player.
"In a close game with two minutes left, for a technical to be called on something that didn't appear to be very disturbing to me, good officiating will let that go," Damonte coach Torrey Sheets said. "In that situation, it better be really bad and, in my opinion, I don't think it was."
The loss dampened David Crowley's 18-point effort. Nick Solano added 11 points for the Mustangs (9-7, 5-4).
Galena won despite scoring just seven points in the second quarter, nine in the third and playing without center EJ Poulsen (knee) for the fourth game. Damonte aided the Grizzlies' effort with a four-point third quarter against Galena's 2-3 zone.
"I was trying to think of a different word, other than ugly, but it was a grind," Voyles said. "This is one of those games that determines where you finish in the playoffs spots. Either way, win or loss, it will definitely affect playoff positioning for both of us."