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Colusa defends home court at Georgia Raczniak Christmas Tournament
Colusa High extracted sweet payback against Winters in the nightcap of the first day of the 33rd annual Georgia Raczniak Christmas Tournament on Thursday.
The RedHawks opened their home tournament with a 65-45 blowout victory against a Warriors team which handed them a two-point defeat earlier this season.
"I have to admit, a little revenge was on our mind but we've gotten better just in that week and a half," Colusa coach Brian Davis said. "I love to play up."
Sophomore guard Max Moreno engineered the high-octane pace, scoring 22 points with wild-but-under-control slashes to the hoop. Moreno converted on 10 of 13 free throws.
Winters (6-4) struggled against the RedHawks' press and never had a chance to get into rhythm. Colusa (6-4) boasts a deep bench which allowed Davis to keep fresh and effective bodies cycling onto the court.
Eleven other RedHawk players scored, as they earned a chance to play Gridley in the semifinals. Shane Saso chipped in nine points, R.J. Phillips scored eight and Hayden Bailey added seven.
T.J. Anderson led Winters with 21 points
The matchup between Colusa and Winters was the only game between competitors familiar with each other. The tournament boasted three new teams this year: Hoopa Valley, Golden Sierra and Western Sierra.
"We've got to get ready for league and a good push in the playoffs so we bring out anybody we can, bigger schools, we'll take them," Davis said.
Colusa plays Gridley at 7:30 p.m. while the Warriors face off against Western Sierra at 3 p.m. in the consolation bracket.
Gridley 56, Western Sierra 47
The Bulldogs put the lessons they learned in the Gridley Invitational to use against Western Sierra, from Rocklin, in the opening round.
Quinn Spring and Shobi Khan scored 14 points apiece as Gridley (4-5) built a huge lead in the second half before the Wolves (0-7) put together a late run.
Gridley led 50-27 after three quarters and the Wolves closed the gap by leaving its starters in against the Bulldogs' reserves.
Western Sierra's leading scorer, Isaac Bonifas scored a game-high 22 points but 12 came in the final quarter.
With just four seniors, the Bulldogs are still growing accustomed to playing with each other, though playing some of the top teams in Northern California during the Gridley Invitational helped set get them up to speed, Bulldogs' coach Nathan Link said.
"We're trying to take what we learned and apply it and remember the speed we have to play at," Link said.
The superior size and athleticism of Spring, a sophomore, Samuel Cota and Grayson Wedin put Gridley ahead 30-19 at the half despite lackluster defense, Link said. Cota finished with 11 points and Wedin added six.
"We came out flat defensively. We only had three fouls at halftime, so we told them to be more aggressive," Link said.
His advice at the break translated into a 14-4 run to open the second half.
Wheatland 67, Golden Sierra 49
Jimmy Pipkins scored eight points in the first quarter and finished with 22 as the Pirates (5-4) advanced into the winner's bracket.
Jackson Hopking scored 13 of his 15 points in the first half, and Taylor Balogi had a big third quarter en route to scoring 12 points.
Peter Biersteker was Golden Sierra's primary threat as the senior tallied a game-high 25 points.
Wheatland plays Hoopa Valley at 6 p.m., while Corning faces Golden Sierra (6-4) at 4:30 p.m. in the consolation bracket.
Hoopa Valley 50, Corning 42
Hoopa Valley upset the defending tournament and Northern Section champion Cardinals behind a 14-point game by Tule O'Rourke and 12 points by Milton Stewart.
Corning lost for the first time this year despite 18 points by Nick Hoag and 14 points by Michael Shoemaker.