The Lassen High School drill team performed one of their final routines of 2017 to the song “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” Photo by Ashley Grogan

Varsity Grizzly boys cream Railroaders

Spencer Lively allows Lassen to start with possession as he wins the jump ball against a Sparks player. Photo by Ashley Grogan

The Lassen High School boys’ basketball team held their first home game of the season Tuesday, Dec. 12 against visiting team, the Sparks High School Railroaders.

Without showing any signs of regret, the varsity Grizzlies ground the Railroaders to a pulp with a final score of 69-34, which definitely prompted the purple and gold fans to expect great things from the Lassen boys throughout the 2017-2018 season.

The varsity boys entered the court with an abundance of energy after the junior varsity Grizzlies wiped the floor with the Sparks JV team 57-28.

Knowing full-well that many Grizzly fans have been anxiously waiting to see the Lassen boys in action, the Grizzlies didn’t mess around. In the first 20 seconds of the game, Will Ashmore made the first dent in the score with a basket. Less than a minute later, Spencer Lively followed up with a rebound basket to bring the score to 4-0.

The Railroaders were clearly at a disadvantage, as any team is when taking on the Grizzlies, but they resisted the purple and gold power as well as they could. With 6:40 on the board, Sparks earned three points via basket and good free throw to follow.

Eager to get some distance between the two teams, Ashmore stepped up and shot a good three-pointer for Lasssen with 6:26 on the clock.

Jacob Bennett shoots a basket despite the many Sparks defenders attempting to spoil the shot. Photo by Ashley Grogan

Sparks followed with a basket, but Brand Satica reciprocated with one of this own to neutralize the threat. Then, a pass from Satica to Jacob Bennett resulted in another two points on the board. Finally, Satica finished his reign with a three-pointer before handing the ball off to the dumbfounded Railroaders.

A Sparks basket was followed by a two-point field goal shot by Bennett, a layup by Matt Rudd, a steal and basket by Ashmore, a three-pointer by Bennett and finally a hook shot by Ashmore that brought the score to 25-7 and ended the first quarter clearly in favor of the purple and gold.

First to take a swing at the scoreboard in the second quarter was Jacob Memmott with a rebound shot 35 seconds in.

A good free throw was shot by Bennett to bring Lassen to an even 28 points, and two three-pointers shot in a row by Satica introduced the Grizzlies to the 30’s.

By the time the half entered its final three minutes, the Railroaders managed not only a three-pointer, but two two-point field goals as well. Luckily for Lassen fans, the threat could hardly be classified as such as the Grizzly boys showed no signs of fatigue.

In the final two and a half minutes of the second quarter, Hayden Chittock stole the ball and scored a layup, and Cole Olexiwicz brought Lassen to 39 points with a three-pointer.

Quarter three started with Lassen on top 39-14, and by the time Sparks scored their first basket, Lassen had already racked up their score by 12 points.

The Grizzly cheer squad finishes their performance during the varsity boys’ basketball halftime break with a three-tier pyramid. Photo by Ashley Grogan

Cole Dyer hit a three-pointer with three minutes remaining of the quarter, but a three-pointer by a Railroader showed that Sparks was not yet ready to give up without a fight.

With less than two minutes remaining, Aaron Barnes hit a rebound and Rudd followed with a good free throw. Sparks brought themselves to 24 points with a couple baskets, but a two-point field goal from both Kenton Ritz and Rudd brought the final Grizzly point tally of the third quarter to 61.

Memmott was again first to up the score in the final quarter with a basket at 7:18.

Sparks challenged with a basket less than 20 seconds later, but Barnes and Rudd each shot a basket soon afterward to respectfully decline the invitation.

After two good free throws from Ritz, the Railroaders gave their last attempts and ultimately ended the game with 34 points in comparison to Lassen’s 69.

With a clear win on the board, head coach Paul Moore commented, “That was the best execution on offensive all year. We shoot the ball a lot better at home than we do on the road.”