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Mountain Echo Sports

Ron Mosher, Sports Editor
   E-mail: echosports@yahoo.com

Unless otherwise stated, all photos are by Ron Mosher

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READY OR NOT... Spring sports are upon us in full swing.... and many of us aren’t quite ready for them. However, we’ll get into the swing of things quickly, no doubt.

Of course Mother Nature will also undoubtedly get into the swing of Spring with rain and/or snow... she never fails us. Already games planned for Monday (yesterday) were cancelled - so here we go.

I firmly believe the dreaded California drought could be ended if we just scheduled high school baseball, softball and track year around.

Mother Nature has a weird and wicked sense of humor - if you listen closely, you can hear her giggling in the background right now.

The NCAA March Madness is in full swing, and already my remote control batteries need to be changed. Wow, what a start.

There are a number of high ranked teams who have been relegated to the sidelines by lower seeded teams, and anyone who says their bracket is still intact as we’ve moved to the Sweet 16 is probably either fibbing or the smartest odds maker in the world.

Being a fan of the late coach John Wooden, I’ve always had a sweet spot for UCLA, and this year they’ve made it to the top 16... yep, sure threw those bracket haters for a loop, as many so-called experts didn’t think they even belonged in the tournament. Shame on you!

A final congratulations to the Lady Bulldogs basketball team - what a ride. You made history in being one of two teams to make it to the very first CIF Division VI Nor-Cal Regional Tournament, and even though you came up a bit short in that title game, you’ve given your fans their money’s worth all season long.

You were the last public school standing in the D-6 bracket.

In the CIF california overall state championship brackets where the northern winner is taking on the southern regional winner in Divisions 1 through 5, only four of the 20 schools still in contention are public schools - all the rest are private/ christian schools.

And, no, I don’t have an answer as to how the public school teams can compete on a level playing field with the private schools. Wish I did.

Burney Raider fans have to be excited about Spring sports - with their baseball, softball and track teams showing strong in the early going. The Lady Raiders softball is an impressive 7-0-1 in the early going - with nary a senior on the young roster. Yep, coach Kevin Luntey is excited about not only this season, but next year too.

Little league organizations in both the Burney Basin and Fall River/Big Valley area’s are preparing for the upcoming season’s - opening in Burney on the opening Saturday of fishing season... Yep, get up early, catch your limit and scurry over to the ol’ ball yard. The Intermountain Little League of Fall River/Big Valley traditionally open on the next Saturday. Hopefully Mother Nature will halt her rainy season during Little League... She has my permission to start up again right afterward (however the old gal hasn’t listened to me in some 70-plus years, so why in the world would I think she’d start now).

Big Valley baseball finally is set to get underway today (Tuesday) at home for a single game against Redding Christian at 4pm... It will b a rematch of the 8-man football championship back in November - won by Big Valley (for those of you with short memories). Go Cards!!!!

Wow, just a little under two inches to go and we’ll be done with this week’s column - that’s information for those of you still reading and don’t have a ruler handy.

So here’s to everyone having a wonderful week... get out and support our Intermountain Area youngsters - catch a game, or track meet. Let’s face it... it’s cheap entertainment and well worth the time.

Local Athletes and Coach to be Featured in All-Star Hoop Games
REDDING - The Annual Redding Breakfast Lions All-Star Classic set for Simpson College here on Sunday, April 12, will feature a host of Intermountain Area athletes as well as Fall River boys coach Scott Gallion.

Big Valley’s Michael Bertelsen along with Amanda Bricker and Erica Stevenson will see action as well as Fall River’s Tanner Gallion, Johnny Westlund and Amy Brown.

Fifty-eight athletes fro throughout the north state will participate with the girls hitting the court at 4 o’clock and the boys battling at 6pm. Admission is a $6 donation and children under eight are free.

Fall River coach Scott Gallion will coach the boys South team, while Trinity’s Jaime Green will mentor the North squad. Girls coaches are Nathan Emerson of Central Valley for the North and Steven Schuster of U-Prep for the South.
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  Raiders start off 2015 Strong
OROVILLE - The Burney Raiders varsity boys track team captured second place at the 4th annual coach Mac Friendship Meet here last Wednesday, scoring 73 points and finishing behind Las Plumas with 87. Eleven schools competed in the event at Harrison Field here.

VARSITY BOYS - - Nathan Glazzard took the Gold in the long jump with a leap of 19- 05.5, and also finished fourth in the 100m (11.78) and fourth in the 200m (24.22).

Foreign exchange student Gabe Silva won the triple jump at 42- 01.5.

The 4x100 relay team took first place winning in a time of 46.96. Members of the team were Sebastian Magnia, Alex Madera, Nathan Glazzard and Gustavo Villarruel.

Alex Madera finished second in the 400m race in a time of 55.59, while Wyatt Stier took second in the 100mn hurdles (16.87) and 300m hurdles (45.94).

Senior Sebastian Magnia won third in the 100m (11.25), fourth in the 400m (58.31) and fifth in the long jump (18- 06.5).
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Lady Raiders Flying High in Early Softball Action
BURNEY - The Lady Raiders softball team has come out of the gate on a roll, amassing an early 7-0-1 record to open the 2015 season. The only blip so far was a 6-6 tie with Chester at the Liberty Christian tournament.

This past week, the Raiders blitzed visiting Mercy in sweeping a double header, 20-1 and 22-1 then finished it off with a 7-2 win over Liberty Christian on the road Friday.

In the opening game at home against Mercy, Burney racked up three in the first and exploded for nine in the second on their way to the lopsided 20-1 win.

Maddie Luntey pitched a complete 5- inning stint for the win, scattering three hits with three strikeouts.

Joyce Ogden led the offense at the plate with three hits in four trips, with a double and three runs scored. Lauren Schneider was also 3- for-4 with a double and triple. Summer Schottel slammed a home run with thee driven in, while Megan Arseneau blasted a triple in going 2-for-3. Bailey Turner was 2-for-2 with an RBI and Emma Sealander added a hit and drove in a run.
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Local All-League Honors
The Intermountain Area received one MVP, eleven All-league and six honorable mention selections in the Evergreen and Shasta-Cascade league post season honors announced recently.

Big Valley senior Erica Stevenson (shown right) was named the MVP of the Evergreen league, as she led her team to the co-championship of the conference with Tulelake. Teammates joining her on the Allleague team were Amanda Bricker and Mikenzie Frye. On the boys side of the ledger, Big Valley saw Michael Bertelsen and Kellen Gerig honored.

Fall River had seven All-league selections - for the girls, Sarah Westlund, Megan Gallion and senior Amy Brown. For the boys, Tanner Gallion, Johnny Westlund, Jace Neugebauer and Justin Vigil.
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Lady Bulldogs Finish in Runner-Up Slot in Nor-Cal State Regional
EUREKA - For the Fall River girls basketball squad, it all began back on December 2 with a 55-30 win over Big Valley and ended some 3-1/2 months and 31 games later here with a 54-66 loss to the hosting St. Bernard’s Lady Crusaders in the CIF Nor-Cal State Regional championship game.

Along the way to this longest girls hoop season in school history, the Bulldogs captured the northern section CIF Division VI championship.

The championship game was much closer than the score might indicate, as the Bulldogs were within three points midway through the final quarter, but had to resort to fouling the Crusaders in the late going.

“We just couldn’t shut down their talented sophomore (Makenna Schoenhofer),” summed up coach Kathy Jones. Schoenhofer racked up a game high 25 points.

The coach went on to note that her team had shot better than 50-percent from the field in their two previous games at home, “but throughout this game we didn’t shoot well at all, coming in at a poor 29-percent.”
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Raiders Sweep Mercy

Raiders sweep Mercy BURNEY - The Burney Raiders throttled visiting Mercy here last week, winning the opener, 23-1 and the nightcap, 11-4.

Ray Guerrero (pictured above) was the winning hurler in game one, pitching four innings and giving up two hits, no earned runs and striking out five. Wyatt Hibbeln mopped up the last inning with a strikeout.

Burney scored their 23 runs on 11 hits, eight walks, five batters reaching on errors and four hit batters.

Guerrero, Layton McClung, Jon Searl and Kaden Tiran each picked up two hits, with Guerrero driving in three and Tiran notching a single and double.

Drew Harrington, Marvin Jackson and Jared Hovis picked up a hit apiece.

In game two, Drew harrington got the win pitching the first two innings giving up just one hit and fanning three. Jason Searl threw three innings, with Tiran wrapping it up with six strikeouts.

Hibbeln was 2-for-43 with a pair of runs driven in, while Guerrero continued his hot hitting with two more hits in two at-bats and scoring twice.

Hovis had a single and three RBI’s, while Harrington and Tiran each had a hit.

“We played really well in both games,” summarized coach Coby Frazier, “we got a chance to get four guys some time on the mound and they all did well.”

Burney is at the American Christian Academy Tournament at Big League Dreams starting Thurs
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Bulldogs Finish 2-1 at Maxwell Tournament
MAXWELL - The Fall River Bulldogs annual trip to the Maxwell Tournament resulted in two wins and a one-run loss over the weekend.

MODOC 2 FALL RIVER 1
The Bulldogs lost a heartbreaker to the Modoc Braves, as the eventual winners unlocked a 1-1 tie with the winning run in the top of the seventh inning.

Brian Smith was tagged for the loss in relief of starter Jace Neugebauer - despite only giving up two hits while striking out two. Neugebauer struck out five in his four innings of work.

T.J. Markham, Thomas markham, Kaleb Hamilton and Steel Humphry each garnered a hit for Fall River with T.J. Markham scoring the Bulldogs lone run in the fifth inning.
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Fall River finishes 2-3 in Hamilton tourney
HAMILTON - The Lady Bulldogs of Fall River finished with two wins and three losses at the Hamilton Tournament here over the weekend.

QUINCY 10 FALL RIVER 3
The Bulldogs opened with a loss to the Quincy Trojans, with Loni Denny tagged for the loss. She struck out five.

Bailey Berlt was 2- for-3 with a run scored and an RBI, while Kellie Jo Sims, Rachel Wellemeyer and Alicia Reynoso each adding a hit in the loss.

FALL RIVER 17 ORLAND 6
The Bulldogs pulled even at 1-1 in the tourney with the win over Orland.

Loni Denny struck out three in going the distance.

Fall River led 14-1 after two innings, in pouncing early and often.

Berlt and Laci Denny each had two hits and each scored twice. Loni Denny had a single and three RBI’s while Sims was 1-for-4 with two runs-batted-in.
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