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RedHawks victorious in season opener
A new look and a new coach propelled the Colusa High boys basketball team to a 67-62 season-opening victory Dec. 3 against Wheatland.
Brian Davis took over the RedHawks program after a successful stint at Yuba City High and quickly adapted the multi-faceted set of tools left by former coach Marty Remmers.
"I inherited a whole group of winners, so that's a blessing to have," Davis said. "We've got Max (Valdez) with cross country, we've got a whole host of football guys and then bringing in the baseball guys that won a section."
Colusa's tallest player, reserve forward Hunter Mobley, tops out at 6-foot-3, but the lack of height isn't much of a concern for Davis.
"Height doesn't matter too much, and if it does, at that time, we're just going to try to out-run them as much as we can," Davis said. "We just preach toughness, being smart and run, run, run."
Valdez, a sophomore guard who qualified for the state cross country meet, made an impressive season debut, using his endless stamina to hound the Pirates on defense and spearhead the fast-paced offense. Valdez scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
Seven different players scored at least four points for Colusa and Davis sent wave after wave of substitutes onto the court as they out-hustled the Pirates for long stretches of time.
Tied 16-16 after one quarter, the RedHawks outscored Wheatland 20-12 in the second quarter, but the Pirates rallied in the third and took a 50-49 lead at the start of the fourth quarter on a bucket by Jimmy Pipkins.
Trailing for the first time since early in the second quarter, Colusa retook the lead on a basket by senior wing Eric Barrera and never looked back.
Senior guard Riley de Wit was aggressive on defense and the boards to keep the ball in the RedHawks' hands, and he put the game out of reach with a 3-pointer with about three minutes left in the game.
De Wit finished with 14 points and six rebounds, junior guard Christopher Madrigal contributed 11 points and senior forward R.J Phillips added 10 points and four rebounds.
Barrera chipped in seven points, Hayden Bailey notched five points and Shane Saso scored four points. All told, the RedHawks hit nine 3-pointers spread among five players.