It took the top-seeded Mt. Shasta Bears three quarters to solve the #2 Colusa Redhawks on Friday afternoon at Butte College. But once that was accomplished, the Bears ran away with the game in the final frame, winning 66-56.
Colusa came out running and gunning in the first quarter, and built a 14-7 advantage. A 3-pointer by Kole Riccomini, followed by a deuce from Ronnie Knight made it 14-12 with 45 seconds on the clock. After a Redhawk hoop, Kody Bauman answered with a dunk, 16-14. Colusa had the final basket of the period for a 18-14 advantage.
The Redhawks started fast again in the second stanza, extending their lead to nine points at 28-19. The Bears then went on an 8-2 mini run. A basket by Kole Riccomini started it off. Kaden Riccomini dropped a dime to Bauman for a hoop, 28-23. Colusa scored, but back-to-back put-backs by Bauman and Kaden Riccomini brought the Bears to within a possession, 30-27, with 25 seconds left in the half. Colusa, however, was the last to move the scoreboard, sending the teams to the intermission with the Redhawks up 33-27.
Colusa was first on the board in the third quarter, 35-27. The next eight points belonged to the Bears, capped by a Knight basket to tie the game 35-35 at the 4:36 mark. Mt. Shasta grabbed its first lead of the night with 54 seconds left in the period, when Bauman connected from the parking lot, 45-43. But, Colusa scored to make it a 45-45 game heading into the fourth.
Mt. Shasta trailed 50-47, when the Bears began their final push to victory. Kole Riccomini made it 50-49 with a basket. He then hit two from the charity stripe, for a 51-50 Bear lead. A steal-n-score by Kaden Riccomini made it 53-50 with 5:27 to go. After Colusa added a free throw to its total, Kole Riccomini executed a 3-point play the hard way, 56-51. Another steal-n-score by Kaden Riccomini extended the Bear advantage to 58-51 at 4:13.
Colusa narrowed the gap to two possessions, 60-56, with 1:05 to play, but the Riccomini’s were perfect at the line the rest of the way–Kole shooting 4/4 and Kaden 2/2–to seal the 66-56 win.
Kole Riccomini recorded a game-high 25 points, including going a perfect 10/10 at the line. He also received the sportsmanship award. Bauman had 17 points, and Kaden Riccomini put up 14. Knight had six, Nolan Johnson three and Gore one point. The Bears shot 13/16 overall from freebie land.
“Today’s win was a total team effort from top to bottom. We needed every player to pull this off. It’s a great group of hard-working guys that play together,” said coach Cliff Blakley. “I would like to keep this going as long as possible. I’m going to hate to see this season end.”
Mt. Shasta (26-3) will find out their first-round opponent for the state playoffs on Sunday, with the game to take place next week.
Colusa (24-5) will also be awaiting news of its first-round foe.Share on Facebook