This week, Mount Shasta was at Modoc Tuesday and won the contest 53-55. The Bears host Trinity in the regular-season home finale Friday at 8:30 p.m.

The Mount Shasta boys vaulted themselves into the Shasta Cascade League title chase with a gritty, 69-59 win over Fall River Friday night.

The Bulldogs came to town undefeated and in first place in the SCL and left needing to win out to capture a league crown.

Mount Shasta had a strong week overall, downing Modoc at home last Tuesday and Trinity on the road last Wednesday.

The Bears roared out of the gate against the Bulldogs Friday, getting out to a 14-0 first-quarter lead. Coach Chris Galarza told his team to “play defense using your feet and not your hands,” and they did just that, holding Fall River scoreless for the first six minutes of the game.

Guard Darius Smith scored nine points in the first quarter, and DJ Brown had four points while making things difficult for the Bulldog big men in the paint. The quarter ended with the Bears holding on to a 21-9 lead. Kyle Ellorin and Darius Smith each scored five points as Mount Shasta extended its lead to 40-26 at halftime. Mathew Ellerbe dropped the first of his three three-pointers on the night, and Mack Wolmar had two buckets.

The Bears had a balanced attack on the night, with seven players scoring at least six points. The Bulldogs found their game in the second half, outscoring the Bears 18-13 and closing to a 9-point deficit after three quarters.

Mathew Ellerbe hit two threes, and Kekai Ferguson took his second charge of the game to keep the Bulldogs at bay.

Things got tight in the fourth quarter when Fall River made a final desperate run and got the score to 56-54 with three minutes left in the game.

 Ellorin hit a field goal to make it a 58-54 Bear lead at the 2:30 mark, and  Brown grabbed a rebound and scored with 1:50 remaining. After the Bulldogs hit a field goal to cut the Bear lead to Ferguson put the game away with a trey with just over a minute left.  Fall River never got closer than six points, and a jubilant crowd swarmed the Bears post-game huddle.

 Smith scored 17 points for Mount Shasta, and Brown had 12 points and numerous rebounds. Ellerbe knocked down three 3-pointers for nine points, Anthony Pigoni had seven points on some flashy driving layups, while Ferguson and  Wolmar both scored six points apiece.

 Coach Galarsa and his“100 percent, bust-your-butt” defense held Fall River’s high scorer Tim Westlund to five points and committed 17 fouls in the game while the Bulldogs were called for 25 infractions

On Tuesday, Jan 28, Mount Shasta downed Modoc at home 57-32. The Bears dominated from the start and lead 21-4 at the end of the first quarter, on their way to the 25 point victory. Smith put up 13 points, while Pigoni finished with 12 points. Brown chipped in 10 points.

Last Wednesday, the Bears downed Trinity on the road by a score of 90-73. Things did not start out well for Mount Shasta as they trailed  22-20 at the end of the first quarter. The Bears outscored the Wolves 18-14 in the second quarter to take a 38-34 lead into the half. Mount Shasta went off for 36 points in the third quarter as they cruised to the 17 points win.

 Smith and Brown both had big games for the Bears. Smith put up 30 points, while Brown had 24. Ellerbe finished with nine points for Mount Shasta.

The Bears junior varsity squad went 2-1 last week.

Last Tuesday, they lost to Modoc 65-61 and defeated Trinity last Wednesday  67-52. Friday, the Bears won versus Fall River 86-55. The squad is now 5-1 in the SCL and 18-3 overall.

This week, Mount Shasta was at Modoc Tuesday and won the contest 53-55. The Bears host Trinity in the regular-season home finale Friday at 8:30 p.m.

The Bears are 14-8 on the year and 5-2 in the SCL. Mount Shasta trails first place Fall River and Weed, who are both at 6-1 in the SCL, and face each other on Friday at Fall River.