Monday, March 27, 2023

‘Hawks bested in 2nd round of state playoffs

Colusa shortstop Sutter Moss keeps a Kelseyville runner close to second base in a game on March 3.

After a thrilling 61-60 victory over visiting Woodland Christian on Feb. 28, the Colusa RedHawks traveled to Stockton on Mar. 2 to meet No. 1 seeded Venture Academy in the second round of the 2023 Division V CIF State Boys Basketball Championships.

On the road, despite keeping it close in the first half, the No. 8 RedHawks struggled to get the ball to drop and, as a result, suffered a 60-43 loss to the Mustangs, ultimately bringing an end to their season.

“The lid was on the rim,” said Colusa coach Brian Davis. “But we went toe-to-toe with the No. 1 seed and never backed down. We had opportunities to jump ahead, but the ball bounced the other way. While our squad may be hurting from the loss now, we will look back on how much we achieved as one of just a few schools left playing across the state.”

Colusa’s Peyton Humphrey takes the throw at second base in the RedHawks’ second game of a double header against Kelseyville on March 3.

Down six at the intermission, the RedHawks were outscored 31-20 in the second half, shooting just 30 percent for the game and unable to hit a single shot from beyond the arc.
In his last game for Colusa, Joel Magallon dropped in a team-high 13 points, while fellow senior Leo Bedolla grabbed 10 rebounds and added seven points.

Isaiah Travis and Landon Humphrey, two juniors that will form part of the core of next year’s team, finished with eight points apiece.

To get to the second round, Colusa overcame a six-point deficit, with less than a minute to go, and then held off the No. 9 Cardinals to emerge with the win in a thrilling finish.

An electric atmosphere filled Don Bransford Gymnasium as the RedHawks began their comeback with a defensive stop as Peyton Humphrey took a charge with 47 seconds remaining.

Following a missed opportunity by Woodland Christian at their end, Brayden Newgard knocked down a three from the top of the key to cut the lead to just one.

In the ensuing 16-second sequence, a frantic struggle for control of the ball occurred before Travis finally corralled it, and in the process was fouled.

At the free throw line, the 6’4” junior sunk both free throws, giving the RedHawks a one-point advantage, then hustled back on defense to block a Cardinal shot at the other end with just seconds remaining.

And although Woodland Christian had one last opportunity, it committed a fatal turnover on the ensuing inbounds, which allowed Colusa to run out the clock.

It was an outcome that Davis attributed not only to his team, but to the crowd on hand as well.

“It was such an energetic win versus a really good Woodland Christian team,” Davis said. “Our team stayed the course and fought until the final buzzer. The energy in the gym was rockin’ and I‘m so proud of the RedHawk fans.”

Landon Humphrey posted a game-high 23 points and also grabbed eight boards to lead Colusa, while Travis ended the game with 10 points, five rebounds, and two blocks.
Bedolla was tough in the paint, pulling down 13 boards, and Magallon turned in another strong performance, with 10 points and six rebounds.

In a game that saw a combined 41 fouls committed, free throws were the difference as Colusa went to the line 29 times and made 17, compared to the Cardinals, who despite going 13 for 20 from the stripe, simply had less chances.

On the season, the RedHawks finished with an overall record of 26-7, were the Northern Section Division IV runner-up, and the co-champions of the Sacramento Valley League.

Considering Colusa will lose just three seniors to graduation, there is much to look forward to as Davis explained, “What an amazing season for Colusa basketball. The talent one through 12 is great and they are all great young men. Hats off to our coaching staff, which gave these players the tools they needed to make us successful. That includes Coach Farrell whose JV team finished with a 20 game win streak. With all that said, the future of Colusa basketball is bright.” ■

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