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Web update: Overtime buzzer beater propels Bears into Yreka winners' bracket

Steve Gerace
Erik Thelander is mobbed by teammates after scoring the winning basket as the buzzer sounded in overtime during the Bears' first round Yreka Invitational victory over host Yreka Dec. 3, 2009 in Miner Gym.

Erik Thelander’s driving baseline jump shot went through the net as the buzzer sounded and ignited a Mount Shasta High School victory celebration at the end of the first day of the Yreka Invitational Basketball Tournament Thursday night in Miner Gym.

On the brink of going to a second overtime period against the host Miners, Thelander scored off a pass from Tim Jaegel for a 53-51 victory. Mount Shasta advances to play Del Norte at 5:30 p.m. Friday.

Mount Shasta fans roared as teammates mobbed Thelander, who led the Bears to their first win of the season with 15 points.

Thelander, the returning Shasta Cascade League MVP, said he was Jaegel’s secondary target on the play that coach Kirk Andrus drew up in the huddle during a timeout with just 5.2 seconds to play in the overtime period.

“I guess this is good for us,” Andrus said afterwards, referring to the Bears’ second consecutive overtime game to start the season. “It shouldn’t have been that close.”

The Bears, who lost in OT at Central Valley Tuesday night, led Yreka through most of the first three quarters, including a 25-14 half time advantage.

But the Miners hit four 3-pointers in the second half, forced numerous turnovers and held a 45-42 lead before Thelander banked in a three-pointer of his own from the top of the key in the final minute of regulation.

Yreka also led in the final minute of overtime before Gene Kenyon hit a jumper to tie it at 51-51.

The Miners had the ball and a timeout with 15.1 seconds to play, but a steal by Jaegel put the Bears in position to win.

Kenyon finished with 12 points for the Bears, senior center Shane Freeman scored 8 and Jaegel 6.

Yreka guard Luke White made three 3-point shots and finished with 17 points. Guard Serome Eng had two 3-pointers and scored 10. Between the two of them they scored only 5 points in the first half.

Andrus said Mount Shasta is scheduled to play Yreka again on the opening day of the Bears’ Holiday Tournament next Thursday in Mount Shasta. Because of an odd number of teams in the Holiday Tournament, Andrus said it will be the second of two games the Bears will play that day.

The boys division schedule for Friday, Dec. 4 at the Yreka Invitational is as follows:

Winners’ bracket

Brookings vs. Central Valley, 4 p.m.

Del Norte vs. Mount Shasta, 5:30 p.m.

Consolation bracket

Etna vs. Eagle Point, 10 a.m.

Klamath Union vs. Yreka, 11:30 a.m.

Senior Gene Kenyon scored 12 point including a key jumper in the final minute of regulation during the Bears' first round Yreka Invitational victory over host Yreka Dec. 3, 2009 in Miner Gym.