The Lady Grizz varsity basketball team challenged the Spanish Springs Cougars to a home game on Tuesday, Dec. 20.
The game was held four days into the Grizzly holiday vacation, and the effects were obvious. The Grizzlies lost the game with a final score of 46-39.
However, as the game picked up, fans were able to see glimpses of the Lady Grizz team they have known and loved.
Ava Steele led the team in points by raking in a solid 10 including two rebound shots.
Hannah Carson and Brynn Winters brought in eight points each for the team. Winters had three baskets including a rebound shot.
Makenna Busse also brought in six points for the team, which included two free throws.
The game started out rough for Lassen as the Cougars shot a basket and two free throws before the end of the first minute.
Frustrated with poor passes seen on the court, coach Jessica Larson called a timeout with 3-0 on the board favoring Spanish Springs.
The timeout left the girls with a drive to work harder, but the sluggish vibe of holiday break was hard to shake off.
Spanish Springs scored another basket with 4:46 remaining of the quarter, and a minute later, Lassen exchanged their five ladies on the court.
With a fresh squad of Grizzlies, the tension of the game was higher than ever.
The Cougars fouled Jamie Larson with 3:36 on the clock, but the pressure to break the ice on Lassen’s tally was too much, and both free throws resulted in a miss.
Within the final three minutes of the first quarter, Spanish Springs managed to sink two more baskets and solidify a nine-point lead to greet quarter two.
Quarter two was better for Grizzlies as the point tally reached the positive integers.
With less than a minute down for the quarter, Busse scored a free throw and initiated the movement to lessen the gap between the two teams’ scores.
Spanish Springs sunk a three-pointer with 6:34 on the clock.
Steele made her first points of the game with a basket two minutes into the quarter.
The Cougars countered with another three-pointer, but Steele didn’t hesitate to score another basket from the rebound of Hannah Carson.
The Grizzlies exchanged their active ladies once again and entered the fourth minute of the quarter down by another three-pointer.
Brynn Winters began her rein of terror with 3:38 on the clock as she scored a basket and was later fouled. Though Winters didn’t score a free throw, she later made another basket from the rebound of Maddie Hampton’s three-pointer attempt.
With 1:30 on the clock, Winters had another chance behind the free throw line and ended up making both shots.
A timeout was called with less than 30 seconds remaining of the half. With 21-11 on the board, the Grizzlies could see their progress and the road ahead of them in order to catch up to the Cougars.
Spanish Springs ended the first half of the game with a basket shot with two seconds on the clock. The half was called with 23-11 on the board favoring the Cougars.
The Grizzly defense was alive and well after the halftime break. The Cougars failed to advance on their score for the first three minutes of the second half.
With 4:53 on the board, Spanish Springs scored a basket and a free throw to follow.
Thirty seconds later, another two free throws were made by the opposing team.
McCoy made a three-pointer with 3:46 on the board and reignited the hope in Grizzly fans.
Steele made a good free throw with 3:31 on the board, and after a brief timeout, Steele managed to make a second free throw to bring the score up to 30-16 favoring Spanish Springs.
The Cougars exerted a lot of energy on the court in the next two minutes as the Spanish Springs tally spiked by seven points before a Lassen timeout was called.
With the Cougars carrying a score more than double that of Lassen, hope was once again dwindling against the home team.
Another Cougar basket may have hurt the fans, but it only helped the Grizzlies power through a counter attack.
With 24 seconds on the board, Busse made another basket.
Three seconds away from the end of quarter three, Steele sank another basket from a teammate rebound.
Quarter three came to an end with a 39-20 Cougar score on the board.
The starting Lassen lineup for quarter four included Hampton, Steele, Winters, Lainey Nevis and Carson.
Hampton started off the Lassen scoring with a basket 22 seconds into the quarter.
Steele followed with a basket at 6:26.
Spanish Springs countered with a three-pointer and a basket, but Lassen sent in Busse for the kill.
Busse scored a free throw upon entering the court and handed off the spotlight to Nevis who scored two free throws at 4:39.
With the ball obnoxiously close to the Cougar basket, Busse squeezed in to intercept a shot. Busse then passed to Carson who shot a Lassen basket with 4:25 on the clock.
Carson followed her own basket with a free throw shot that brought Lassen up to 30 points.
McCoy subbed in for Hampton and kept the passes solid throughout the team.
Then Winters made a basket to bring Lassen to 32 points.
Busse managed to intercept another Cougar shot and passed the ball to McCoy with less than three minutes remaining of the game. McCoy then scoped out her options and launched the ball to Steele. Steele then sunk another basket for the Grizzlies. The play was a perfect demonstration of true teamwork among the Lady Grizz family.
Busse shot a basket with 1:14 on the clock and was greeted with a timeout call by Spanish Springs.
The Grizzlies were catching up to the Cougars, and both teams knew the potential stirring inside the Lassen huddle.
The Cougars managed a basket after the timeout, but Steele finished the game with a three-pointer.
The Cougars won by a mere seven points. Their only advantage seemed to be the effects the holiday break had on the Lassen ladies.
The next game for Lassen’s varsity Lady Grizz team will be held on Monday, Jan. 2 against North Valley High School. The freshmen, junior varsity and varsity teams will be playing the home games at 4 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.