For the boys basketball teams from both Fenton and Elk Grove, the goal on Tuesday was to get focused on a win that could get their seasons pointed in the right direction.
The teams entered Tuesday night's nonconference contest at Elk Grove's Charles Aldrich Gymnasium with a combined 5-28 record.
Thanks to a 22-2 run over the final five minutes of the first half, the host Grenadiers snared a 60-36 win.
"It was a matter of learning how to play to win," Elk Grove coach Anthony Furman said of his team's best performance of the season, which ended a 4-game losing streak.
"I thought we played at our best when we were able to mix our defenses, which shut them down in both the second and third quarters. It set up better offensive possessions on the other end as well."
An 8-3 run had the Bison (4-13) up 15-9 with 5:10 left remaining in the first half.
Then a 3-point play by Tyler Selvig (9 points), which came after the 6-3 forward hit 1 of 2 at the foul line, had the Grens down 15-13 with 4:34 left.
Senior Dylan Ingebrigtsen's layup nine seconds later tied it up at 15 before 3s by Shivam Amin and Selvig gave the hosts the lead for good at 21-15.
After a rebound putback by Fenton's Diamon King pulled the Bison within 21-17, 3s by Amin and Ryley Rathman (9 points) sandwiched around a 10-0 surge put Elk Grove (2-16) up 31-17 at the break.
The Bison got no closer than 11 in the second half.
Ingebrigtsen paced the Grens' first win since an overtime triumph against Providence at York on Dec. 27 with a team-high 19 points and 10 rebounds. He said the victory was a testament to keeping a positive attitude through the season.
"Our coaches preach working hard," Ingebrigtsen said. "It can be very tough at times, but playing the good teams that we've played on our schedule has allowed us to stay together through the adversity."
The Bison were led by 6-4 senior Amari Reed, who led all scorers with 22 points. Fenton will be off the rest of the week before a return to Metro Suburban Blue play next Tuesday at IC Catholic Prep.
"They were more physical than us tonight," said Bison coach Chaz Taft, who had 3 sophomores and a freshman in the starting lineup. "They were able to mix things up defensively on our young guys and we didn't handle it well, especially in that second quarter."
Amin added 16 points for Elk Grove, which heads back to MSL East play Friday with a trip to division leader Prospect.
"We brought a nice energy tonight," Furman said. "If we can bring that to the game Friday night along with good possessions on offense and keeping the score in the upper 40's or low 50's, we'll have an opportunity to put together a good game."