The Lassen High School junior varsity girls successfully finished the 2017-2018 basketball season with the title of undefeated Northern Athletic League champions.
The Grizzly girls had nine league wins under their belt prior to welcoming the Yreka Miners to the home court Friday, Feb. 16. And, with a 72-23 win against the Miners from late January, the Lassen ladies were far from worried while warming up.
The final score against Yreka at home was 65-20 in Grizzly favor.
The Grizzlies scored more points in the first quarter than the Miners managed throughout the entire game.
The 29-3 Grizzly score shone on the board by the sound of the buzzer.
Of the 29 points, Grace Gatie was credited with three from a basket and free throw, Hailey Mena brought in eight via two-point field goals, Hannah Langenhorst hit one two-point field goal, Ronnie Merrill hit a basket and two good free throws, Caitlyn Crosby brought in five baskets and Grace Memmott hit one two-point field goal.
Once the overwhelming lead was established, the purple and gold began to tone down the pressure used against the struggling Miners.
Quarter two saw Yreka enter the double-digits as the Miners reached 13 points by the end of the half.
Lassen, on the other hand, was trying to rein it in rather than continue dishing it out.
Lassen’s success in the second quarter began with a basket from Crosby. Gatie followed with a two-point field goal and a free throw before Mena took over and sunk two three-pointers.
Langenhorst hit a basket to bring the Grizzlies to 42 points, and prior to hitting a second, Crosby managed to squeeze in two good free throws.
Langenhorst and Merrill then finished the half with a two-point field goal each.
The 48-13 Lassen score started the second half on the right foot for the home team.
Mena was first to hit a basket in the third quarter with 6:20 on the clock. Crosby put a two-point field goal in at 5:10 and Memmott followed with two good field goals to introduce the fourth minute of the half.
Yreka attempted a free throw, but pressure got the best of them and the ball was soon in Sam Magarrell’s hands for a couple Grizzly free throws.
Yreka attempted another free throw with little more than a minute on the clock, and though it was again a miss, the Miners were quick to recover and ended up landing a rebound to bring their point tally up to 15.
The Miners finally hit a good free throw as the quarter entered it’s final 30 seconds.
Then, with one second remaining, Merrill proved weak to the temptation and shot a good basket to bring the score to 58-16, Lassen.
The final quarter began with a good Miner free throw at 7:01.
Crosby and Memmott tag-teamed it on the court soon afterward as Crosby hit a free throw and Memmott followed with a two-point field goal as the clock hit five minutes.
Yreka hit a rebound at 3:29, and after a rebound shot by Langenhorst, the Miners reached 20 points with a free throw.
At 1:26, Magarrell finished the game off early with a rebound that placed the Grizzlies ahead by 45 points.
With a 10-0 league record and an overall record of 22-1, the Lassen High School junior varsity girls proved themselves to be one of the best teams on the court.
Head coach Jim Ernaga said, “The first game we played I told the girls I wanted them to play relentless defense and that if they did they did, we would win most of our games. The girls worked very hard in practice and truly did everything I asked of them with relentless effort.
“They are great players and deserve all of the credit for such a great season. I couldn’t be more proud of them. They truly played as a team this season and always had each other’s backs.
“I have to say to the team, thank you for all of the hard work because it certainly paid off. I will miss them.”