Mount Shasta girls host first round state playoff game

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald
The Mount Shasta girls basketball team's defense has caused opponents consternation throughout a 22 game win streak, including Friday's section championship game in Oroville.

The season continues for the Northern Section champion Mount Shasta High School girls basketball team, now seeded No. 7 in the Northern California bracket of the state championships.

Mount Shasta is scheduled to host No. 10 Ripon Christian tonight, March 9, at 7 p.m.

After a thrilling 57-55 triple overtime win in Saturday’s Division 5 section championship game in Oroville, the Bears take a 25-4 record, undefeated Shasta Cascade League season, and 22 game winning streak into the state tournament.

Ripon Christian (15-12) placed third in the Trans Valley League and lost in the Sac-Joaquin semifinals to eventual section champion Capital Christian (22-7), which is seeded No. 5 in the north region.

With a win Wednesday night, Mount Shasta would play a second round game at No. 2 St. Joseph Notre Dame (24-8) Saturday night in Alameda.

The Bears haven’t done anything except win since they lost three in a row from Dec. 8 to Dec. 11, nearly three months ago.

Early in their winning streak, they defeated Ripon’s public high school, 48-37, in a first round game at the West Coast Jamboree Dec. 28.

Ripon, a larger Division 4 school, went on to an undefeated Trans Valley League season, including two victories over Ripon Christian.

Mount Shasta coach Kirk Andrus points to Ripon Christian’s reputation as a Division 5 power and said he “expects them to be tough.”

Like the Bears they held opposing teams to an average of fewer than 40 points per game this season.

Andrus said the Bears gained “invaluable experience” playing against and seeing Bay Area teams at the West Coast Jamboree.

Now that they’re entering the “whole new world” of the state tournament, where a majority of the Division 5 teams are private schools, “We’ll roll out the ball and see what we’ve learned,” Andrus said. “We know we’ve played mutual opponents and had success.”

He said the team accomplished all the goals it set and will continue with its effort “to win one game at a time.”

“Most of the positive things you hope a team will learn during a season we’ve been exposed to,” he said.

The Bears created a third overtime against Durham out of the thin air that Emily Andrus’s game-tying three point shot traveled through as time expired in Saturday’s second overtime.

After winning their school’s first girls section championship in 24 years, they will take on the same team that ended the season for the only other two section champion Mount Shasta girls in 1991 and ’92.

Ripon Christian, described in a 1992 newspaper article as “a perennial state playoff team,” defeated the 1991 Bears in a first round Northern California game 53-49 in Mount Shasta.

In ’92, the Danny Hansen-coached Bears were seeded No. 2 in Northern California. They easily won their state playoff opener at home, then lost at home to Ripon Christian 39-34.

Northern Section runnerup Durham goes into the state tournament as the north’s No. 12 seed and is scheduled to open Wednesday night at Capital Christian.