After Tuesday night’s 48-47 victory at Fall River, the Mount Shasta High School girls basketball team can move into a first place tie with a victory over Modoc tonight in Alturas.
Mount Shasta goes into the game tied for second place with Fall River at 4-2 in league, one loss behind 4-1 Modoc.
Bears coach Kirk Andrus said his team was fortunate to beat Modoc, 46-37, in their league opener Jan. 9 in Mount Shasta. He expects tonight’s game against a “big and strong” Modoc team to be “a grind on both ends.”
After losing at Trinity, 30-25, on Jan. 26 and falling to 3-2 in league, the Bears trailed Fall River at half time Tuesday night, 22-13.
Despite that deficit and despite their earlier 51-43 loss to Fall River in Mount Shasta, Andrus said the Bears felt like they could “make a run” in the second half.
And they did. They cut the lead to 3 points late in the third quarter before Fall River scored the final 4 points of the quarter, including two free throws with 1.7 seconds remaining.
Andrus said the Bears then “played spectacularly well” in the fourth quarter and won it after Abby Andrus made a post move to score and put them on top, 48-46, with 50 seconds to play in the game.
Lily Hitchcock, who was 1 for 6 on 3-point attempts in the first half, made 3 threes in the fourth quarter, including one from NBA range and another from well beyond the line, according to the coach.
Sophomore McKenzie Lowry made a clutch basket late in the game on “a great drive down the free throw lane,” as the coach described it.
As a team, Andrus said the Bears played strong defense down the stretch and “did not let them do what they wanted.”
Fall River’s top player, 6-foot point guard Madison Corder, made one of two free throws with 33 seconds to play in the game to cut the Bears’ lead to a single point.
Mount Shasta was unable to score on its final possession, and Fall River got the ball back with 10 seconds to play.
During a timeout, Andrus said the Bears’ designed a strategy to get the ball out of Corder’s hands.
But Fall River had no intention of having Corder shoot, and instead used her as a decoy in the corner, he said.
Senior guard Saydee Pevehouse did get a shot off for the Bulldogs from the high post. Andrus said it wasn’t close, Hitchcock got the rebound, and time ran out with Hitchcock on the floor attempting to keep the ball away from the girls who were on top of her.
Hitchcock, who made 5 of 6 three-point shots in the second half, finished with 18 points and 8 rebounds.
Abby Andrus scored 16 points with 11 rebounds and 3 assists while guarding the taller Corder throughout the game.
Lowry and Taryn Linares scored 6 points each; Anna Taylor had 2 points and 5 rebounds; and sophomore Maddie Bourke had 5 rebounds.
Corder led Fall River with 16 points, including three 3-pointers, but overall she made just 6 of her 23 field goal attempts.
One of the big differences from the Bears’ earlier loss to Fall River was their ability to break the press. “We got more easy baskets against their press than they generated by their press,” Andrus said. “So their press was a net loss for them.”
The Mount Shasta boys are 6-0 in league and have a two-game lead over Trinity (4-2) going into Friday night's game against 3-2 Modoc.