The Bears will play Foothill High School of Bakersfield in the State Division 5 Championship game Friday at noon at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.
Bears Third Quarter Explosion Sends Them To State Finals
Kaden Riccomini hit four three-pointers as Mt. Shasta broke open a close game with a 28 point third quarter and went on to rout Dinuba 80-56, Tuesday night in front of an overflow crowd at Robert Novo Gymnasium.
Dinuba hit 8 threes in the first quarter and jumped out to a 23-17 lead. “Live by the three, die by the three” is the old adage, and Dinuba was living large after 8 minutes.
But the Bears tightened their perimeter defense, and the Emperors started missing contested threes. Nolan Johnson sank a couple of treys and Mt. Shasta took a slim 36-33 lead into halftime.
As they’ve often done in the playoffs, Mt. Shasta went on a third quarter run to salt the game away. The Bears outscored Dinuba 28-10 to grab a 21-point lead and were never headed.
Kaden Riccomini hit all 4 of his three-pointers in the quarter, including a buzzer-beating 35-footer that ignited the crowd. He scored 14 points to fuel the offensive explosion. Kole Riccomini scored 6, and Jett Snure, who had a strong night on the boards, added 4.
Dinuba tried to rattle the Bears with a game-long full-court press, but had little success against Kole Riccomini’s sure handle. The defensive effort took its toll as Dinuba committed 19 fouls and put the Bears on the charity line for bonus shots in both halves.
Mt. Shasta outscored the Emperors 16-13 in the final quarter and cruised to the win and a date with Foothill High School of Bakersfield in the State Division 5 Championship game Friday at noon at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.
Kole Riccomini led the Bears with 26 points, hitting 7 of 8 free throws. Brother Kaden scored 20 points and helped put the game away with his third quarter three-point barrage.
Jett Snure had 12 points and blocked 2 shots. He and Kody Bauman, 4 points, helped control the boards.
Tristan Ellerbe and Nolan Johnson put up 8 points each, and Jackson May got a bucket.
Mt. Shasta will have its hands full in the final. They’ll face a Foothill team that won the Central Coast Division 4 championship and then was put into division 5.
Cal-Hi Sports said “Eventually somebody will tell us how Foothill got into D5 when the team it beat in Central Section final, Bakersfield Christian, was placed in D3.” Foothill has an enrollment of 2000 students; Mt. Shasta has 343.
The Bears will have to deal with college prospect, 6’8” Edward Turner, who scores 18 points a game and grabs 10 rebounds.
Mt. Shasta is now 33-1 with 28 straight wins. They’ve been silencing those skeptics who thought the small school from far Northern California would be no match for big schools from the Central Valley. Cal-Hi’s website rated them sixth in the division 5 playoffs.
The Bears can bring the state title home with one more win. NBC Sports Regional Networks will live-stream the games.