They did it again. Yep, the phenomenal Fall River Lady Bulldogs captured the NorCal Regional Division VI Championship at home last week, in a nail-biting game in front of a packed house of avid Bulldog fans as well as visiting Redding Christian Lions fans. It was a true classic game befitting a state championship.

Amazingly, without skipping a beat, Fall River gals immediately moved to softball, playing at the Maxwell Tournament with just one day of on-the-field practice. Gotta love how they can transition without blinking an eye. And, they competed well against other teams who have actually had some practice time in, winning three, one tie and one loss. Congrats girls.

The Billy Bob Estes Memorial softball and baseball tournaments are set for this Friday and Saturday. Last year, in its inaugural debut, it was baseball only and ended with a very limited amount of games due to Mother Nature throwing rotten weather at the field... hopefully this year we get to see all games played.

Also this Saturday at Fall River Jr/Sr High is the youth wrestling tournament - something well worth taking the time to watch. These youngsters are learning the ropes early, and will help boost our high school wrestling programs down the road. Looking forward to taking in some matches.

We have some new coaches this spring in the Intermountain Area, as well as several veterans returning... here’s the lowdown:

• Big Valley has Shari Blatt-Nelson returning to softball, while newcomers Talor Fulfer takes over from Doc Dahle in Cardnal track and Beau Staples assumes the helm of the Cards baseball team.

• Fall River has Leo Estes moving from Bulldog baseball to FR softball, with former assistant coach Jeff Earnest moving up to mentor baseball. Jody Morgan returns to coach track and field.

• Burney Raider baseball has Mike Bates taking the reins with Kevin Luntey returning to head up Burney’s softball program. Track and Field’s new coach is Amanda Tate.

Good luck to all our coaches, and thank you for taking the time to mentor the area youngsters... it’s much appreciated.

Gonna cut this short so there’s room to report about the youth wrestling meet set for Saturday.

Have a great week, everyone!

Return to Mt. Echo Home

Lady Bulldogs Repeat as State Champs in Thriller
McARTHUR - Picture it - a year ago in the same gym here, as the Fall River Lady Bulldogs downed Loyalton by a lone point to garner the 2017 NorCal Regional championship.

“Trailing 59-58 with 11 seconds left, Fall River inbounded 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 four seconds left.”

Fall River wins!

Now fast forward to last week on a Tuesday night at the Dog Pound and Redding Christian is in town for the 2018 NorCal Regional championship.

Trailing 49-48 with 17.6 seconds left, Fall River inbounded the ball from under the Redding Christian basket and drove the length of the court. A few passes later, Meghan McKinlay put back a missed shot from the paint that went in the bucket to put the defending champions up 50-49 with just six ticks left on the clock.

Fall River wins!

Yep, two different games, same player, same outcome, as the hosting Lady Bulldogs became the first team in Northern Section history to claim two NorCal Regional titles - and they did it back to back. The win also capped a triple crown season with Fall River winning the Shasta-Cascade League, Northern Section CIF championship and the NorCal Regional tournament title for Division VI. Both the NSCIF and NorCal championships came at the expense of Redding Christian.

The game wasn’t always a close nail-biter, as Fall River held a 12 point lead early in the fourth quarter, only to see the Lady Lions keep chipping away to make for the thrilling and dramatic ending. With just under 18 seconds remaining, Redding Christian senior Lisa Manning nailed a three pointer from the top of the key to put the Lions up by one. Fall River immediately called a time out and when play resumed the Bulldogs made their final run to the title.

McKinlay led the Bulldogs with 14 points while Madison Corder nailed an even dozen. Saydee Pevehouse scored nine, with Ranee Betz hitting five. Marissa Leighton and Natalie Osborne each scored four and Trinity Markham put up two points.

On defense McKinlay, Betz and Leighton topped the team in rebounding with each hauling in six off the glass. Corder had three blocks.

Fall River had a hot hand at the free throw line hitting at an 82 percent clip, led by McKinlay’s sixfor- six performance and Corder’s 5-for-six.   The Fall River game plan of putting pressure on their opponents and wearing them down, seemedbut the Lady Lions picked up a second wind in the fourth quarter to turn a double-digit game into a nail-biter.

“When you miss eight straight shots and they make theirs, things are going to tighten up,” noted coach Tarron Corder.

The coach also said that the title he wanted the most was the Shasta-Cascade League crown, “not that the others weren’t important,” he said, “but that championship was the one I wanted to see us win. They were all tough.” Fall River had four seniors playing in their final prep game - Madison Corder, Ranee Betz, Meghan McKinlay and Saydee Pevehouse. Now it’s wait until next year all over again.

Raiders Finally Get to Play Ball
REDDING - The Burney Raiders finally got their baseball season underway with a late scheduled make-up double header with Weed here at Big League Dreams Saturday..

The good news was they got to play baseball, the bad news was they lost two closely fought contests. The game time was pushed back making for a long day as the first game was at 4pm and the second game didn’t wrap up until 9:30pm.

In the opening game of the season, Weed took the contest 11-10.
Chris Semer was the hard luck loser giving up eight runs in the first four innings - only two earned.

Burney powered back to take a 9-8 lead in the top of the sixth, but couldn’t hang on.   Semer finished 2-for-4 at the plate and David Nelson also had to hits.

In the nightcap, the Cougars prevailed 11-9.  Burney trailed 8-1 but came back to within one at 7-8, “and it was a battle to the end,” said coach Mike Bates.

Freshman Nathan Dougherty was a perfect 3-for-3, while Levi Perkins slapped a double and triple. Marvin Jackson was tagged for the loss.

“With all our rainouts, I think we had a case of first game jitters,” noted Bates, who’s Raiders are at the ACA tourney starting Thursday.