Too many times the Intermountain Area is defined by what you read in the Sheriff’s Log every week, and that truly is too bad if you form your opinion from what you read there. I’m the eternal optimist when it comes to the people who live in this great Intermountain Area.

• There is healthy competition between the three main area’s that make up our Intermountain Area home... Big Valley, Fall River Valley and the Burney Basin. It is especially true when it comes to allegiance to one of the three high school’s located within this trio of geographical vicinities. However, there is great cooperation too.

Take for example last week’s Fall River Regional State Tournament games in McArthur. Many of the FR Booster Club members wanted to be in the gym and watch the two Bulldog teams set an area record for competing at the state level. That left no one to operate the great concession stand during the twinbill.

Fear not... A group of Burney peep’s stepped up to the plate and volunteered their services to keep this money maker open for the Booster Club and the fans in attendance. Beth Allison heard about the lack of volunteer’s on social media and immediately volunteered her time and asked for others to do the same. Up stepped Marcie Schmidt along with Bob Hayes and Gracie Venegas a Fall River Jr High student.

This is what I believe the Intermountain Area is all about - neighbor helping neighbor.

• At the beginning of the girls championship game last week, the PA system failed during introduction of team members. No problem... Principal Jeanne Utterback hollered out the names without the aid of electronics, and then the sell-out crowd stood as one to sing the National Anthem. It was a neat moment.

The public address system was rescued by Mike Babajan who managed to somehow come up with a substitute system that enabled the rest of the night to go without a hitch... Again, neighbor helping neighbor.

• A nice surprise handed out to members of the two Bulldog championship teams after each win... Special caps adorned with message honoring their state victories.

Perry Thompson and Toby Corder made the quick trip to Reno the day of the games to surprise the two FR teams.

Have to admit that’s taking a chance and betting some good money that your team(s) are going to win. The two must have been a little nervous when the FR girls fell behind by 16 points at halftime.... could have meant a big bonfire instead of handing out prizes....

• So the season is over. The basketball’s have been put away until next winter, and we move on to softball, baseball and track/field to wrap up yet another school year. To all Intermountain Area basketball players (and wrestling athletes too) thanks for a great season. To the seniors who’ve played their final game in their school gym, we all wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors. Now it’s, ‘Wait ‘til next year,’ once again!

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Bulldogs roll over Patiots for State Championship
McARTHUR - For the second time in 10 days, the Fall River Bulldogs and Liberty Christian Patriots met in a championship game, and last Tuesday’s NorCal Regional title game ended no differently than the last title tilt between the two rivals... Fall River came out on top big time.

The Fall River boys varsity followed the lead of the Lady Bulldogs after the girls slipped past Loyalton for their crown. The boys rolled over the Patriots, 75-36, to start the second hometown celebration of the night.

The loss was particularly hard to swallow for Liberty Christian, as it may have been the last time a Patriot’s hoop team hits the hardwood, as the school is scheduled to close it’s doors for the final time at the end of this current academic year.

But for the victorious Bulldogs, the win was just the icing on a very large cake. The win capped the Bulldogs season at 30 wins with only one loss.

Fall River, known for it’s trademark run-and-gun offense coupled with an in-your-face defense, found the Patriot’s employing a slower paced game in an effort to throw off the Bulldog balance.

“It worked in the first half,” summed up Fall River coach Scott Gallion, “we got off to a slow start offensively in the first quarter and got a little better in the second period,” as Fall River led by three after one and nine at halftime.

The Bulldogs, however, returned to controlling the game in the second half, rolling over the patriots in the third period with a 23-6 run and Bulldog fans breathed a sigh of relief and began to count down the minutes to start the celebration with their team in command, 56-30.

When the noise finally abated, Fall River had pounded out the win led by Justin Vigil who racked up his 24th double-double of the year with 25 points and 10 rebounds to go with five blocks and five steals. Robee Knoch drained an even dozen while Cade Rainwater put up double digits with 11 points and added six steals and a halfdozen rebounds.

Fabian Alvarez added eight points, Zach Thompson six, Kaleb Hamilton Four and Jeffery Kask three. Paul Winter, Jonathan Iniguez and Jeron Barrios each scored two points in the championship win.

“We were able to make the adjustments we needed to at halftime,” said coach Gallion, “we then came out and accomplished what we wanted to do.”

An example of how frustrating the Bulldog defense was to the Patriots - after scoring a bucket, Fall River intercepted three straight Liberty inbound passes to score eight points in a matter of just six seconds in the third period, “and that was what seemed to break their spirit,” noted Gallion.

The defense held the Patriot’s to a mere 12 points in the second half. It truly was a year to remember!

FR Girls Win Crown in Come-from-Behind Thriller
McARTHUR - What’s an 18 point deficit to the Lady Bulldogs of Fall River, you ask?

Well, not much apparently.

Trailing 38-20 at halftime, the Fall River squad powered back for a 60-59 win over the Loyalton Lady Grizzlies to capture the NorCal Regional State championship last Tuesday night before a loud capacity crowd here.

Reminiscent of their 1-point thrilling win over this same Loyalton team in the section finals 10 days earlier, the Bulldogs relied on a last chance shot as the seconds ticked away.

Trailing 59-58 with 11 seconds Fall River in bounded the ball from under their own basket. One pass later, Meghan McKinlay put up a shot from just inside the charity stripe in the key and nailed it to put Fall River up 60-59 with just over four seconds left to tick off the clock.

Loyalton, out of time outs, in bounded the ball but couldn’t get any traction against a tenacious Bulldog defense, and once again the Lady Grizzlies found themselves relegated to the runnerup slot to the champion Lady Bulldogs.

“We made some adjustments at halftime,” noted a happy FR coach Tarron Corder, “out defense started executing and out offense fed off that to mount the comeback.”

Saydee Peevehouse topped the winners with 16 points, while fellow junior Madison Corder hit yet another double-double with 15 points and 14 boards on defense, to go along with six steals. Laci Denny added double digits with 11 points.

Ranee Betz scored five with eight rebounds, while Meghan McKinlay hit four with seven boards.

Tori Policastro scored three with Natalie Osborne, Kristen Maier and Marissa Leighton each notching two.

Fouls played an important role in coach Corder’s game plan, with Madison Corder spending much of the third quarter on the bench with four fouls. Denny and McKinlay also picked up their fourth personal late in the game.

The win put Fall River’s season record at 24-5.