Miguel Rodriguez’s first quarter, half court bucket was an omen of things to come when the Mount Shasta boys basketball defeated Weed 50-44 on Tuesday in Weed.
“It’s rare to see a rivalry game manifest positively, but both teams did it tonight,” Bears’ coach Kirk Andrus said. “There was a lot of emotion and energy.”
After their home loss to Burney, the Bears have been on a roll, beating top ranked Trinity and Weed to lead the SCL.
Weed on the other hand has dropped four straight, seeing their title hopes fade.
Tied 6-6, the Bears went on a 14-2 run to end the first half, including Rodriguez’s miracle shot.
“We missed a lot of easy baskets and had to play up hill all night,” Weed coach Mike Carpine stated. “We’re just not finishing.”
It turned into a smash-mouth affair with players falling to the floor, fighting for position and blocking shots.
Scoring slowed down in the second period and Mount Shasta went into the break with a 30-17 lead.
“We went into the locker room and I told them not to think the lead was more than it was,” Andrus explained. “We knew Weed wasn’t going away.”
Weed held their rivals to five points in the third quarter and cut the lead to six.
Robert West and Tyler Wilson both hit a three in the quarter, bringing the crowd to their feet.
Weed closed the gap to four twice in the final period before the Bears went on a 7-0 run to seemingly put the game away.
Jake West and Wilson each had a steal leading to  four of West’s game high 13, cutting the lead to five with 30 seconds left.
Wilson knocked the ball away from Jake Padula, but a lucky bounce sent it into the sure hands of Erik Thelander.
Both Thelander and Padula hit clutch free throws to end the game.
Steven Reed and Thelander had another solid night against the Cougars with 13 and 9 points respectively. Gene Kenyon and Zack Morris scored seven each.
Robert West finished with 10 and both Aaron Power-Bearden and Wilson had nine.
“We need to concentrate on getting out of this skid and it’s not going to get any easier,” Carpine said.