The varsity Bears boys and girls basketball teams both performed some magic tricks on the way to winning Tuesday night nail-biters against Fall River, whose teams came to town with a combined 27-1 record.

Winter Carnival week at Mount Shasta started with chills and thrills Tuesday night in the Bears' Novo Gymnasium.

The host varsity boys and girls basketball teams both performed some magic tricks on the way to winning nail-biters against Fall River, whose teams came to town with a combined 27-1 record.

Cesar Gonzalez hit a three-point shot at the buzzer to get the Mount Shasta boys into overtime, and John Clemens made a pair of free throws with 4.5 seconds to play for a 75-73 victory.

The Bears improved to 2-1 in league and 11-6 overall while handing the Bulldogs (1-1, 14-1) their first loss of the season.

The Mount Shasta girls trailed by 9 points in the fourth quarter, then rallied to take their first lead of the game, 52-51, with about a minute to play, after layups by Emily Andrus, Madeleine Moyer and Ashley Cain.

Trailing by a point with less than 30 seconds to play, the Bears turned the ball over in the front court. But Kacey Cain “immediately stole the ball back and made a swooping layup with two girls on her to put us up 54-53 with 12 seconds to play,” coach Kirk Andrus said.

Fall River was unable to get a good look at the basket in those final 12 seconds and finally put up a three-point shot that was blocked at the buzzer by Ashley Cain, one of her four blocks in the game.

“It was an excellent game and a tremendous comeback,” said Andrus. “I really felt that we deserved that run, as Fall River made some improbable shots that really propelled them. Fall River scored points in bunches but we never surrendered. Our balance was fantastic. The girls did it all themselves. The game was well officiated. It was a tremendous high school basketball game.”

The Mount Shasta girls improved to 2-1 in league and 9-7 overall, while Fall River left town 1-1 and 13-2.

Carnival week concludes Friday night when the Bears host the Burney Raiders. JV games start at 3:30 and 5:00; varsity games at 6:30 and 8:00. The Carnival royalty crowning ceremony is scheduled to be held between the varsity girls and varsity boys games.

Tuesday night’s crowd was buzzing between the varsity girls and varsity boys games against Fall River.

Mount Shasta girls

Five Lady Bears scored 8 points or more in the win, led by Ashley Cain’s 14.

Kacey Cain, Madeleine Moyer and Kaycee Sarti scored 10 points each. Emily Andrus 8, and Abby Manley 2.

Sarti made a pair of 3-point shots in the first quarter that helped the Bears reduce an early 18-6 deficit to 18-11.

Ashley Cain scored 8 of her points in the second quarter as the Bears tied it at the half, 27-27.

Mount Shasta made two baskets and got a steal, prompting Fall River to call time out while holding a 45-40 fourth-quarter lead.

When play resumed, Moyer immediately hit a 3-pointer to get the Bears within 2.

Fall River then made two threes to lengthen its lead to 5 with less than 2 minutes to play.

The Bears’ defense stiffened after that with plays like one made by Kacey Cain, described by Andrus as “one of those very special moments by a very special player. At the most crucial point in the game she made a great anticipatory defensive play and a remarkably athletic move to the basket. It was like something you would see on TV. And the crowd’s response was deafening.”

Kacey Cain’s stat total for the game included 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals.

Emily Andrus had 7 rebounds and 4 assists; Manley and Moyer had 6 rebounds apiece.

Mount Shasta boys

Coach Cliff Blakely said the Mount Shasta boys played good defense the first three quarters against Fall River and led by as many as 13 points.

Their lead was 47-40 going into the fourth quarter and it grew to 11 points before Fall River made a run.

Leading Bulldog scorer Tanner Gallion hit a pair of threes, guard Jonathan Westlund scored, and 6-foot-4 sophomore Justin Vigil made two free throws for a three-point lead with 12.6 seconds to play in regulation.

After a timeout, Gonzalez saved the night with a long 3-pointer, his third of the game.

Gonzalez and Fall River’s Jace Neugebauer both fouled out in overtime.

Kirby Kindley made a clutch jump shot for the Bears late in overtime, and Fall River’s Cameron Cunningham made a basket to tie it with 7.8 seconds on the clock.

Gallion fouled out with 4.5 seconds to play, and Clemens made the free throws to break a 73-73 tie.

Fall River then missed a last-second shot.

Preston Blakely led all scorers in the game with 24 points, 19 of them in the second half. He scored most of his points on drives to the basket and short jumpers.

Clemens and Sean Micklos scored 12 points each for the Bears, Gonzalez 10, Garrett Bryan 8, and Kindley 4.

Karl Olguin made a 3-pointer, and Mason Brooks scored 2.

Coach Blakely said Micklos “has picked it up on offense,” and is giving the Bears “some post scoring we need.”

The Bears made 11 of their 15 free throw attempts in the fourth quarter and OT.

Gallion led Fall River with 21 points, Westlund scored 18, and Vigil 17.