Lassen Cougar Colby Johnson goes for a shot during the Wednesday, Feb. 1 away game against Feather River College. Photo by Mari Erin Roth

Cougars take to the road, win two out of three

The Lassen Community College men’s basketball team snagged two wins out of three games last week, which had the team driving more than 1,000 miles in five days.

For the Jan. 28 game against College of the Siskiyous in Weed, California, the men’s team started the game with great half-court defense, and quickly earned a 9-0 lead, according to head coach Will Freedman.

Siskiyous eventually scored, but Lassen was in control for the entire game.

At half time, the Cougars led by 7 points, 40-33, and increased their lead by the end, winning 85-73.

“I was happy with the energy tonight. All 14 guys came ready to play and support each other. We will need this type of team effort if we want to make a lot of noise in conference play,” said Freedman.

During the Siskiyous game, Kenny Macklin led the way with 15 points, Colby Johnson with 14 and Damien Trujillo and Danny Spinuzza with 12 points each.

On Monday, Jan. 30, the Cougars made the long trek to Eureka, California to play College of the Redwoods, and came out on top with a final score of 73-65.

According to Freedman, the game started out very competitive and, as a result, neither team took control until 10 minutes in to the first half.

However, as the Cougar’s defensive intensity increased, they earned a 29-19 lead before College of the Redwoods fought back, leaving the score at 34-33, Lassen, at halftime.

As the second half began, Freedman continued, Lassen went on a run and College of the Redwoods was unable to recover, allowing Lassen to win the game 73-65.

“We really played up to our potential in the second half. We basically imposed our will on Redwoods,” said Freedman. “It started on the defensive end and carried over to the offensive end. It is never easy to win on the road in this conference, so this win was really big for us.”

Johnson scored the most points during the game with 13, and Castillo followed close behind with 12.

Ending the away game streak, the Lassen Cougars traveled to Quincy to take on their Feather River College Rivals Wednesday, Feb. 1.

It started off close, Freedman noted, but said the team was never able to establish a rhythm during the game. The Cougars fell to Feather River 92-72.

“Our hearts were in the right place tonight but our heads weren’t. We let the emotions of the game get to us and it definitely negatively impacted us,” said Freedman. “We didn’t execute on the offensive end and didn’t put up enough of a fight on the defensive end. This group is resilient though and I have no doubt we will bounce back.”

Unwana Ekiko scored 17 points during the game, with Jason Moore following with 16, and Trujillo bringing in 14 points.