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Maxwell tops Colusa to clinch MVL
A monster second half sling-shot the Maxwell High boys basketball team to a 63-43 victory against their Colusa County rivals and clinched the Mid-Valley League title.
The teams entered the game with identical 7-1 records in league and the RedHawks took a 33-30 lead into halftime but the Panthers outscored the RedHawks 33-10 in the second half on Feb. 19 at David J. Perry Gymnasium in Maxwell.
"We just fell apart in the third quarter. We just stopped playing our game, we didn't move the ball well and we didn't penetrate," Colusa coach Brian Davis said. "So once the shots stopped falling that's when things started to change and we got down on ourselves."
With the victory, Maxwell clinched back-to-back MVL titles and, after defeating Biggs in the regular season finale on Friday, finished MVL play with a 9-1 record for the second consecutive season.
Maxwell went 21-3 overall and earned a first-round bye as the No. 3 seed in the Northern Section Division VI playoff brackets.
Though the loss cost the RedHawks a chance to win the league championship, it didn't hurt their seeding in the playoffs.
Colusa (18-8) had the second-best overall record in the division, but as the only D-IV team in the MVL, didn't have the strength of schedule or in-division record to leapfrog the teams from the Northern Athletic and Butte View leagues. As a result, the No. 9 RedHawks traveled to Susanville Tuesday night to face No. 8 Lassen.
In Tuesday's game, the RedHawks used pressure and the hot hand of Riley deWit, who transferred from Maxwell after his sophomore year, to run out to a 16-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Despite giving up seven inches, deWit effectively guarded Maxwell center Zach Troughton for much of the first half before running into foul trouble. DeWit tallied five points, two rebounds, two steals and a block in the first half but fouled out early in the fourth quarter.
Isaias Martinez sparked an 8-1 Maxwell run in the first two minutes of the second quarter with a 3-pointer and a three-point play to give the Panthers' their first lead of the game. From that point on, the teams traded the lead five times before Colusa entered the break with a three-point lead.
Martinez scored 15 of his game-high 19 points in the first half while the Panthers' Troughton was held to just two points.
"We feed off each other," Martinez said. "It makes it a lot easier for him when I'm double-teamed and when he's double-teamed he can look for me."
Midway through the third quarter, Troughton put Maxwell ahead 37-36 and the Panthers never relinquished the lead.
Troughton scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half and notched a double-double by grabbing 14 rebounds as the Panthers pulled away.
"We had to stop their 3-point game and slow them down on fast breaks," Troughton said. "They're a fast-break team, they probably score 80 percent of their points on fast breaks, so we just worked on getting back on defense and that helped a lot."
In Maxwell's 67-60 victory on Jan. 29 in Colusa, Martinez and Troughton combined for 44 points.
The RedHawks, who were playing without senior post player R.J. Phillips, didn't have a player reach double digits. Max Moreno, Eric Barrera and Shane Saso led the RedHawks with eight points apiece.
CONTACT Kirk Barron at 749-4789