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Mountain Echo Sports

Ron Mosher, Sports Editor

Unless otherwise stated, all photos are by Ron Mosher


Fall River fans, coaches and players were a bit confused when the brackets for the D-6 post season playoffs were announced. Having been ranked first in the point system for two weeks prior to the seeding meeting, Fall River suddenly found themselves ranked second behind Paradise Adventist.

An e-mail to Kevin Askeland - the guy who puts all the numbers together - has so far been unanswered. According to those at the meeting, it came down to ‘strength of schedule’ (SOS) to determine the Number One seed. Having ‘Googled’ to find the formula for SOS was for naught... apparently Google is confused as we are.

Now a second place ranking is nothing to sneeze at, and benefits the Bulldogs in the fact they get all playoff games on their home court up until the championship game - should they go that far.

Most so-called experts had expected there was a chance Fall River could face off against Liberty Christian in the championship game. That cannot happen due to the seeding results. Instead - if both FR and Liberty win their opening tilts - the two will come face to face in the semifinals. One team will be eliminated, and thus miss out on the opportunity to advance to the state playoffs (only the first and second place teams in the division get that honor).

However, ‘experts’ can and often are wrong. You can give your expert advice from the comfy of your favorite arm chair and be completely off base. Therefore, we will wait to see what happens.

The best case scenario from the standpoint of Intermoutain Area fans would be to have Big Valley win over Greenville, then take out Paradise Adventist later in the week.

On the girls side of the brackets, Fall River and Big Valley are sitting pretty. The Lady Bulldogs have the home court advantage through the semi-finals, and Big Valley faces an opponent tonight (Tuesday) they’ve already defeated twice... but don’t go into the tilt over confident, Cards - it ain’t over until the overweight lady sings.

Good luck to all our local teams.... Go Get ‘Em.

You think you’ve seen some high school teams that have done well on the hardwood, but something always seems to come up to surprise you. This year it was the amazing play of the Fall River JV boys... 26 wins and 0 defeats. WOW!

It’s not uncommon for prep teams (varsity or JV) to go undefeated in league play, but to amass twenty-six wins without a loss over a period of three months is extraordinary.

Friday night in Alturas, the Bulldog JV squad wrapped up this 26-zip feat to a standing ovation from both Fall River and Modoc fans. Well deserved, guys.

The Burney Raiders teams struggled this year. They may not have won many games, but they proved they have heart and soul and are to be commended. All four of the Burney basketball teams saw the number of players suiting up each week dwindle. But those still wearing the Raider uniform came out night after night and made their school, fans and community proud.

It truly isn’t about how many wins you collect, but how you play the game. True, teams who get a lot of wins bask in the headlines, but true sports fans look at how you played the game... and you played it with everything you had - game after game after game.

No one can ask you to do any more than that. Fans stuck by you and showed up week after week, and had a good time. Your exceptional cheer squad put on great shows at every game, whether it was varsity or JV action.

But beyond all the glitz, glitter and hoop-la, this small group of hoop players on four different teams came out before each game planning to give it their all - and did exactly that. Tired, sore and worn-out after each game, they left it on the court and came back to do it all over again.

Thanks for the memories, Raiders!

Cards Can’t Overcome Free
Throws in Hayfork
HAYFORK - The Big Valley Cardinals couldn’t overcome 33 trips to the foul line for the host Hayfork Timberjacks, as the two top teams in the Evergreen league battled it out for the conference championship here Friday night.

When the final buzzer sounded, the hosts had eked out a 50- 48 win, forcing the Cardinals into second place with a mark of 10- 2.

Kellen Gerig topped Big Valley with 19 points, while michael Bertelsen added eight, Mateo Fitts seven and Wyatt Schmitt five.

“We gave them too many ‘put backs’ at their end of the court,” stated coach Bob Bertelsen, “and their 33 times to the line against fourteen for us didn’t help either.”

Earlier in the week, Big Valley downed Dunsmuir at home, 74- 58, thus setting up the true championship game against Hayfork three nights later.

Gerig again led the Cardinal scoring with 29, while Bertelsen chipped in 15, Tanner Bidwell 11 and Thomas Dodgen nine.

Big Valley is seeded ninth in the D-6 NSCIF playoffs, and heads to No. 8 Greenville tonight (Tuesday) in the opening round of the postseason tournament.

Raiders Season Ends
BURNEY - The Burney Raiders threw a scare into the visiting Trinity Wolves here Friday night, but a third quarter draught doomed the hosts, with Trinity going on to a 48-35 win.

Burney led by two at halftime (20-18) but the Wolfpack went on a 15-0 run in the third quarter to end the Raider threat. The two teams battled to a 15- 15 tie in the final frame.

Jason Searl’s 12 points led the Raiders, while senior Drew Harrington dropped nine, Kyler Marks seven, Ray Guerrero four and Alex Madera three. Guerrero led the team with seven rebounds and three steals, while Madera dished out five assists. “

”One quarter!” said coach Kevin Bower, “another game to lose but leave happy. We played with them, but that third quarter - disastrous.”

He went on to say, “I can honestly say this is one of the most fun years I have had as a coach. These boys never quit, they worked their tails off in practice. They stayed positive with each other and with me.”

The loss to Trinity ended Burney’s hoop season.
Burney Battles Trinity
BURNEY - The Lady Raiders made a valiant effort at a comeback against Trinity here Friday night, but came up short, 50-55. The two teams played a close battle, with the hosts behind by 34-43 heading into the final frame. Burney out scored the Wolves, 16-12 in that final quarter, but it wasn’t enough.

Jessica Thompson’s 10 points led Burney, with Joyce Ogden and Lauren Schneider close behind with nine and Emma Sealander and Ashley Webster with eight apiece and Lovely Schekla tipping in three in a balanced scoring attack.

The loss ended Burney’s 2015 season.

Burney Little League Elects
New Board
BURNEY - A new board of directors was elected to head the Burney Basin little League as they head into the new summer season.

Those elected to serve are: Kevin Luntey, Aaron Burger, Lori Carlson, Colene Hickman, Shiloh Chavers, Marissa Scheckla and Dana Hauge.

Additional sign-up dates for players will be announced soon.

Big Valley Wins on Road to Share Title with Tulelake
HAYFORK - The Lady Cardinals of Big Valley entered the final week of the regular hoop season knowing exactly what they had to accomplish if they wanted a piece of the Evergreen league crown. It was simple - they had to win two games. Lose either one and the dream of a championship would fade into the sunset.

The Cards completed the first half of their challenge when they downed visiting Dunsmuir, 56-31. That set the stage for the grand finale - a rematch with Hayfork. Big Valley had already lost a heartbreaker to the Lady Timberjacks on their own home court, and the game last Friday meant they had to really come up big on the road here.

Come up big they did, downing their hosts, 41-37 to earn a share of the conference crown with idle Tulelake - both with 10-2 records.

In the win over Dunsmuir on Senior Night last Tuesday, Erica Stevenson topped the offense with 20 points, added eight rebounds, five assists, six blocks and five steals. Kayla McCrary had 10 points, six rebounds and one steal. Amanda Bricker put up six points with five boards and six assists, while Mikenzie Frye (pictured above) also scored six with five rebounds. Hope Dodgen scored five, while Cherie Leonard had four, Savanna Miller three and Alexia Miller two.
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Bulldog JV Boys Complete a ‘Year to Remember’
By Ron Mosher
Sports Editor
McARTHUR - For the Fall River boys JV team, 2015 will always remain as the ‘Year to Remember.’

Four tournament championships combined with the Shasta- Cascade league title... but the biggest accomplishment lies in the fact that they played 26 games without a loss.

It was the perfect season!

This team was a scoring machine and put up a defensive juggernaut. They combined for 1,742 points in winning those 26 games - an average of 67.2 points per game.

Throughout this 26 game run, Fall River held their opponents to 1,068 point (40.8 points per game average). JV teams are normally known to play low scoring contests, but for these Bulldogs the year was anything but low scoring. In their final eight games, Fall River never tallied below 70 points.
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Four FR Wrestler’s Earn Tickets to Masters Event
DURHAM - Four Bulldog matmen punched their tickets to the prestigious northern section CIF Masters championship set for Redding Civic Auditorium this weekend, after their performances at the small school divisional championships here last weekend.
• Joe Gemmill (pictured left) finished second in the 285 pound division with a 1-1 mark.
• Cooper Easley finished 1-1 in the 184 division for third place.
• Lucas Warnock wrestling at 158 pounds finished with two wins and two losses for fourth place.
• Gunnar Ronquist went 1-2 at 197 pounds for fifth place and earned an alternate spot. It was later learned he qualified for the Masters.

Other wrestlers from Fall River at the divisional tournament were Ryan Reynolds at 182 with a 1-3 mark for sixth place and Kyle Klein at 108 finished in sixth also.

The Masters is the final section tournament of the year, with first place finishers advancing to the state championships.
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FR Nabs Wins as they Head to Playoffs
ALTURAS - The Fall River Bulldogs tuned up for the post-season with a pair of Shasta- Cascade league wins to finish the regular season last week.

It began at home with a 76-55 win over rival Burney and ended on Friday here with a 79-54 victory over Modoc.

In the win over Burney, senior Tanner Gallion broke the 1,000 point mark as he pumped in 24 points to go with 14 rebounds. Johnny Westlund (pictured above) hit 17 points, while Cam Cunningham put up double digits with 14 and Justin Vigil hit a double-double with 11 points and the same number of rebounds.

It was a see-saw battle in the first half, but Fall River put it away in the third period on a 21- 6 run.

For Burney, Jason Searl led three players with double figures with 18, while Ray Guerrero chipped in 14 and Drew Harrington 11. Kyler Marks had nine points and nine rebounds.

Against Modoc, the Bulldogs pulled away in the second half with 48 points to Modoc’s 26.

Jace Neugebauer pumped in 21 points, Vigil 19, Westlund 15 and Cam Cuningham 14.

The Bulldogs finished SCL play in third place with a 9-3 mark and are 23-3 overall as they head into the playoffs starting this week.

Bulldogs Split in Final Week
ALTURAS - The Fall River girls split their final two games of the Shasta-Cascade league season this past week, downing visiting Burney, 60-32, but falling to Modoc on the road here Friday, 44-39.

A 24-6 third quarter put the Bulldogs up for good against rival Burney Tuesday.

Sarah Westlund put up 11 points to go with seven rebounds and seven steals, while Megan Gallion, Amy Brown (pictured left) and freshman Madison Corder - just up from JV’s - added 10 each. Taylor Corder added seven with Ranee Betz and Shay Marquez six each.

For Burney, Jessica Thompson scored eight, Joyce Ogden seven, Carissa Tereba five with Emma Sealander, Lovely Scheckla and Ashley Webster nabbing four apiece.

In the narrow loss to Modoc, Westlund hit 10 points with five steals, while Gallion dropped nine with five assists. Brown scored seven, Betz six and Taylor Corder four.

Fall River made only 11-of-23 free throws in the game.

“We just couldn’t find the basket,” stated FR coach Kathy Jones.

Fall River finished in a tie with Etna for third in the SCL with a 7-5 mark and are 19-7 overall as they get set to host a playoff game Friday in McArthur.

Bulldogs Wrap up Perfect Season
ALTURAS - The Fall River JV’s wrapped up their 26-0 season with a pair of wins last week.

It began at home with a 76-30 win over Burney and ended here with a 62-48 victory over Modoc.

Against Burney, Kaleb Hamilton’s 15 points led the offense, with Joseph Robles adding 12, Zach Thompson 11, Fabian Alvarez eight and Abel Marin six. For Burney, Rylee Estes scored 10 and Kaden Tiran nine with eight rebounds.

In the win over Modoc, Cade Rainwater (pictured above) pumped in 17, Robee Knoch and Robles 10 each. Hamilton notched nine with Jonathan Iniquez and Thompson getting eight.

Burney wrapped up their season at home losing to Trinity on Friday, 42-72. Estes hit 10, Tiran eight and Layton McClung seven to end the year.
Four Local Teams Set for Action
Both the boys and girls varsity hoop teams from Big Valley and Fall River are set to start the win-or-go-home post season northern section CIF tournament beginning this week. All four teams are playing in Division Six in this years event.

The Big Valley Cards, seeded ninth with a 15-7 mark, open things up tonight (Tuesday) when they travel to Greenville (17-7). Greenville went undefeated in league play to win the championship of the Pioneer Mountain league. Big Valley finished second to Hayfork in the Evergreen conference.
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