WEB UPDATE: Tough Tuesday night loss for Mount Shasta boys basketball team
The first advantage in this year's Shasta Cascade League boys basketball race went to Modoc Tuesday night in Mount Shasta.
The Braves took a 6 point lead with just under 5 minutes to play, then held off a late Mount Shasta rally for a 45-43 road win.
Brandon Acord's final shot to tie it was blocked as time expired by 6-foot-4 Modoc senior Matthew Weber, letting all the air out of the home town fan's balloon.
The loss left the Bears at 2-1 in league, while Modoc moved to 3-0, tied for first place with the Weed Cougars, who won at Etna Tuesday night, 64-36.
The Weed and Mount Shasta girls teams both won Tuesday night and both improved to 3-0 in league. Mount Shasta is scheduled to play at Burney this Friday, Weed plays at Burney Saturday, then the Bears and Cougars meet next Tuesday, Jan. 22, in Weed.
This Tuesday night in Mount Shasta, the Bears fell behind early, 10-2, cut the deficit to 12-9 after one quarter, and led the half, 23-21. It was 35-35 after three quarters.
A three-point basket by Modoc's Drew Culp gave the Braves a 41-35 lead with 4:50 to play.
The Bears were one point closer at 45-40 after a three-pointer by sophomore Cesar Gonzalez and a layin by senior Kegan Snure.
Mount Shasta missed three shots before Snure was fouled with an offensive rebound. He made one free throw to trim the deficit to 4 with 1:26 on the clock.
The Bears forced a turnover, Snure hit a short baseline jumper, and it was 45-43 with just over a minute left. Then the Bears had to foul three times before they got to the bonus with the clock showing 11 seconds.
Weber missed the front of a one-and-one, but it went out of bounds off a Mount Shasta player.
With :08 to play, when Jonathan Morgan missed the front of a one-and-one, the Bears had only enough time to get off one final shot.
Gonzalez finished with a team-high 12 points for the Bears, and Dylan Padula hit three 3-pointers to score 11. Daylon Blakely scored 6, Acord 5, Snure 5, Logan Gress 2, and Clay Ferguson 2.
Modoc senior Cameron Anderson scored 20, Weber 10, and Culp 10.
The early SCL schedule appears to confirm that Weed (14-2), Mount Shasta (12-4 overall), and Modoc (12-3) are the boys teams to beat.
The Cougars had no trouble improving to 3-0 Tuesday night in Etna. But coach Mike Carpine was concerned about senior Noa Traylor, who left the game with a sprained ankle a couple minutes into the third quarter after scoring 13 points. Traylor's future availability was uncertain as of Wednesday morning.
Trevor Shaffer led the Cougars with 14 points, Edgar Casorla scored 12, Rashaan Broomfield 7, and Aidan Hagarty 6.
Five Cougars – Carlos Sanchez, Matthew Morgan, Josh Rodgers, Jamie Haosouphanthong and Tommy Haosouphanthong – scored 2 points each.
Weed is scheduled to play a non-league makeup game Thursday at home against Mercy of Red Bluff, then travels to Burney Saturday.
Thursday night's games are scheduled for 3/4:30/6/7:30 p.m.
Weed and Mount Shasta are alone at the top of the SCL standings, both at 3-0.
Weed won at Etna, 48-42; and Mount Shasta defeated Modoc, 38-26.
The Bears led after a low-scoring first half, 14-12, but coach Kirk Andrus said he was not happy about it.
The second half, however, "was better," Andrus said.
During the Bear's 9-1 league championship season last year, their lone SCL loss was to Modoc in Mount Shasta. "And they have basically the same team," Andrus said of the Braves. "They defend different; it's hard to get into a rhythm. We had to grind it out."
Three juniors led the scoring for Mount Shasta: Sejay Sarti hit two 3-pointers and finished with 15 points; Kathryn Andrus had 8 points and 12 rebounds; Tori Hansen scored 5 points with 9 rebounds.