“Getting the (3rd place) title was a great thing for us, and we feel very good about the progress we made,” Lady Bears head coach Kirk Andrus said. ”We are learning who we are as a team and what we need to do to be successful.”

The Mount Shasta Lady Bears finished 2-1 at home at the 50th Annual Mt. Shasta Holiday Tournament this past week.

Mount Shasta opened up tourney play on Thursday by dominating American Christian Academy of Anderson 56-10. Friday, the  Lady Bears fell to Klamath Union 38-23.

Saturday, Mount Shasta faced fellow Siskiyou County squad Yreka in the third place contest. The Lady Miners had defeated the Lady Bears the week before at the Miner Invitational. Saturday, Mount Shasta came away with a 46-32 victory to improve to 3-4 for the year.

“Getting the (3rd place) title was a great thing for us, and we feel very good about the progress we made,” Lady Bears head coach Kirk Andrus said. ”We are learning who we are as a team and what we need to do to be successful.”

Yuki Cannon, who has been the leading scorer for the team this year and at the tourney, was named to the All-Tourney squad. Asia Hendrix also earned All-Tourney honors.

The Lady Bears began the week with a 49-39 home loss to Corning on Tuesday, Dec. 10.
“We felt like the Corning game was winnable for us.,” Andrus said. “ We have good size on our team but aren’t always aggressive in using that size.  Corning had 2 very good post players who were very aggressive on the block.  We didn’t quite meet their aggression.” Coach Andrus said the game changed in favor of Corning in the fourth quarter when they made two 3-pointers.
“Corning had much more experienced players than we have," he said. " I think that game helped us to understand the value of being aggressive on offense and on defense playing without fouling.”

The Lady Bears were sharp to open tourney play, downing American Christan by 46 points.
“We worked on playing zone defense that game and got a bit of a hang of it as the game went along.,”Andrus said. “We also were able to exploit our size advantage.  We can be a very good basketball team when we don’t turn the ball over, and that happened against A.C.A.”

In the Friday loss to Klamath Union, Coach Andrus said that he believes it will turn out to “be one of our most important games of the season.”  

He said the team struggled in the first half and scored only eight points. Andrus said the squad strolled shooting the ball or defending well.

“Everybody looked frozen by fear of giving it all they had,” he said.
Coach Andrus said the squad turned things around in the second half. While the Lady Bears still struggled to put points on the board  they “competed at a much higher level,” Andrus said. "We also showed more aggression and fearlessness.  That half will be a springboard for us the remainder of the preseason.”

Saturday, the Lady Bears faced Yreka for third place. After falling to the Lady Miners 47-38 the week before, Andrus said the team wanted to go out and play well.

“We were happy to get this matchup again because we felt like we didn’t finish the game very well last week in their gym,” Andrus said.

He said a key reason for the win on Saturday how the squad played defense. This included Hendrix doing a good job defending Breanne Hands of the Lady Miners, who put up 23 points in the previous meeting. She finished Saturday’s game scoreless.

“Asia Hendrix guarded her exceptionally well this time and really limited her effectiveness,” Andrus said..
Andrus said that  Kenzie Lowry, Adrienne Andrus and Grace Bradley did a good job defending Lady Miners post player Julia Crawford.

“This was a very complete game for us,” Andrus said. “We defended well as a team, communicated effectively, and scored from the inside, outside and in transition.“

He added he likes how this year’s team has worked together. For example. three members of the squad, Grace Bradley, Alicia Moore and Ashija Garner each made a 3-pointer versus Yreka. Garner finished with two 3-pointers.

“Every girl on our team has now attempted a 3-point shot this season in a game and 9 of the 10 have made one,” he said. “That is remarkable, and shows how the girls share the ball and share the spotlight.  We are truly a team and don’t care who takes the shots or scores the points."

This week, Mount Shasta hosted Los Molinos Tuesday night, winning the contest handily 46-19 to improve to 4-4 for the year. The Lady Bears play in a three-day tournament starting Thursday in Orland. MSHS  will begin tourney play against Pierce at 12:30 p.m.