Purple Passion player Antrelle Bozeman, Class of 2008, keeps a hold of the ball while plowing through Gold Fever player Brian McGrath at the LHS alumni basketball game held on Saturday, Jan. 21. Photo by Ashley Grogan

Alumni game precedes Battle of the Badge for LHS boys’ basketball

The Lassen High School boys’ basketball teams hosted an alumni game and the Battle of the Badge game on Saturday, Jan. 21 to boost their funds for 2017.

While the boys are fighting strong now, they’ve shown that they are not afraid to take the time to secure a solid future for the Grizzly basketball teams-to-be. The Grizzlies used the games to invest in the varsity, junior varsity and freshman teams of the 2017-2018 season.

The first game of the night was a great show of alumni reliving the glory days on the Grizzly court.

The teams Purple Passion and Gold Fever were represented by alumni of even graduating years and those of odd, respectively.

During the Lassen High School basketball alumni game, Jordan Vial and Pete Phillips participate in the tip-off. Vial, Class of 2011, plays for Gold Fever and Phillips, Class of 2008, plays for Purple Passion. Photo by Ashley Grogan

Purple Passion players included Mark Shaffer, Class of 1984; Leo Bennett, Class of 1988; Chuck McCloughan, Class of 1992; Danny Mena, Class of 1996; John Ayers, Antrelle Bozeman, Ricardo Ortiz and Pete Phillips, Class of 2008; and JP Faulkner and Connor Hanson from the Class of 2010.

Gold Fever players included Jake Larson, Class of 1985; Kevin Leslie, Class of 1987; Arian Hart and Doug Satica, Class of 1993; Allen Sobol, Class of 1999; Johnny Bertotti and Mitch Murphy, Class of 2007; John Prince and Brian McGrath, Class of 2009; and Caleb McCoy and Jordan Vial from the Class of 2011.

While age hinders many athletes, both Purple Passion and Gold Fever teams proved that every year that passes only adds skill to the basketball enthusiast.

Quarter one of the alumni game ended with 15-12 on the board favoring Purple Passion.

The men continued to play feverishly on both sides, but all seemed at a loss for Gold Fever as Purple Passion ended

the first half with a 29-23 score on their side.

After a halftime break, the odds were defied as Gold Fever stepped up their game to nearly double their score with an additional 22 points. Purple Passion’s passion seemed to have faltered after the break in momentum; the men gained a total of 15 points in quarter three.

Quarter four brought fans to their feet as moments of intensity erupted on the court. By the end of the fourth quarter, Purple Passion and Gold Fever were tied with 54-54 on the board.

Overtime was brutal for both teams, but the white flag was never raised. Both teams managed to gain seven points throughout the overtime period, so Purple Passion and Gold Fever were again tied, this time with 61 points for each side.

The game was finally brought to a sudden death naming the first to score the victors.

The years between each man’s time on the Lassen High basketball team and now seemed to simply fade away. One could say purple and gold jerseys were beginning to reappear on each player.

Finally with a certain boost of oomph, a basket was made. Gold Fever won the game by two with a final score of 63-61.

Varsity Grizzly boys’ coach Paul Moore said, “I would like to personally thank all of the alumni for coming back and playing in the game, and I am super glad that no one got hurt. It was a great game and yes, we will do it again next year.”

The heated game left fans in need of some fresh air, but the night wasn’t over yet.

During the Battle of the Badge LHS basketball fundraiser game, K.C. Wiser shoots a basket after evading David DelCarlo’s defensive tactics. Photo by Ashley Grogan

Next up on the agenda was the California Correctional Center Coyotes against the High Desert State Prison Dawgs in the Battle of the Badge game.

Moore commented, “Both CCC and High Desert State Prison have been amazing in supporting Lassen High basketball, and we are so thankful for the commitment they have to our community.”

Christopher Gonzalez keeps high spirits during a free throw at the Battle of the Badge game held on Saturday, Jan. 21. Photo by Ashley Grogan

The lineup for CCC included Matt Burton, Jimmy Crandall, Danny Cruz, David DelCarlo, Christopher Gonzalez, Steven Lively, Matt Lively, Johnny Mack, Rich Mata and Chris Henry.

The High Desert Dawgs included Andrew Alkire, Cody Cavender, Kevin Greer, Charlie Hahn, Lance Lively, Lafyatte Lofton, James Luna, Travese Walters and K.C. Wiser.

The Battle of the Badge began with a huge dose of energy from the Dawgs.

High Desert ended up serving a fierce game and ended the first quarter up by 15 points.

The Coyotes got the message that this was more of a battle than a game and kicked it up a notch in quarter two. Despite the new feast of intensity laid out before the audience, CCC ended the first on the losing end of a 46-24 score.

After the half, the Battle of the Badge continued with intensity, but the fun of the game came out on each man’s face a bit more. Smiles were exchanged between teams and crowds continued to cheer.

In the final quarter, the Dawgs and Coyotes scored like no other. Ultimately, High Desert left with the 81-51 win.

The fundraiser was deemed successful with money raised for the Grizzly teams and a good night given to all in attendance.

Moore stated, “These two games have enabled us to do the things we need to do this summer to have success in 2017-18 and we would like to thank each person who made this possible.”