Max Denham passes to a teammate while under the opposing team’s basket. Photo by Ashley Grogan

Cougar basketball finishes conference with win

Rikkert De Maertelaere shows perfect form at the free throw line. Photo by Ashley Grogan

The Lassen Community College men’s basketball team hasn’t had the best run during the 2017-2018 season, but the Cougars have really kicked it in gear as the conference play winds down.

Between Thursday, Feb. 8 and Wednesday, Feb. 14, the Lassen men earned two wins and a loss as they took on the College of the Redwoods Corsairs, the Butte College Roadrunners and the College of the Siskiyous Eagles on Feb. 8, Saturday, Feb. 10 and Feb. 14, respectively.

Lassen started with a win at home against the Corsairs with 75-61 shining on the board.

The Cougars then traveled to Butte for a close game that ultimately ended in a loss 72-63.

Finally, Lassen played their final conference game on the road against College of the Siskiyous and successfully took the win with a final score of 89-64.

At the final home game, Lassen and Redwoods exchanged punches from the gate and ultimately finished the first half with 33-31 on the board favoring the Cougars.

Though they were leading by two points at the start of the half, the Cougars would not allow themselves to be satisfied until the win was secure.

Unwanna Ekiko anticipates his next move while standing at the three-point arc. Photo by Ashley Grogan

In the second half, Lassen outscored the Corsairs 42-30 and thus secured the win with a 14-point lead.

Sophomore starter Unwana Ekiko led the Cougars on the board with 28 points in his favor. Ekiko hit five three-pointers, seven of eight free throws and had four rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Kameron Brandon finished the game with 14 points to his credit. He hit nine rebounds and had two assists.

Both Max Denham and Denzil Guwa scored eight points for the Cougars against the Corsairs. Denham had two rebounds, five assists and one steal. Guwa hit 11 rebounds, three assists and one steal.

During their first game on the road, Lassen fell to Butte by nine points after finishing the first half with a 29-24 Butte score and following with a four-point short performance in the second half.

Leading against Butte was Xavier Lovelace with 17 points, five rebounds and one steal.

Ekiko followed with 15 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Brandon scored 11 points with two rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Kameron Brandon doesn’t hesitate to take a shot while in the key at home. Photo by Ashley Grogan

The final score of 72-63, Roadrunners may have put the Cougars in a bad mood, but it didn’t crush their spirit.

Finally, after rebuilding their team spirit, the Cougars traveled to the College of the Siskiyous with a hunger for victory.

Lassen started out strong and refused to let up.

In the first half, the Cougars put themselves ahead by seven points and thus met the buzzer with a 46-39 score.

The second half was even more impressive, though, as the orange and black team outscored the Siskiyous 43-25.

The Cougars were led by Denham with 21 points.

Chailen August followed with 18 points on the board. Lovelace scored 12, and both Ekiko and Brandon brought in 11.

Thus, the Cougar finished their conference career with a brilliant away win of 25 points.