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RedHawks hand Maxwell first league loss
Facing the only remaining undefeated team in the Mid-Valley League, the Colusa High girls basketball team caught fire early and outlasted Colusa County rival Maxwell 45-36 on Jan. 28.
Both teams came out firing in the first quarter as the RedHawks nailed three 3-pointers to take a 17-16 lead over the Panthers' and their dominant inside duo of Kaily McKinley and Jenna Powell.
The RedHawks collapsed to the paint and forced the streaky shooting Panthers to look for points from the outside, while sophomore power-forward Mollie Townzen provided a steady source of offense.
With the victory, the RedHawks moved into a tie with Maxwell and Portola atop the MVL standings and dropped the Tigers to third place with a victory on Friday. Colusa is now 9-11 overall and 4-1 in league.
McKinley scored 10 points and grabbed five rebounds in the first quarter, but Colusa answered with two 3-pointers from junior forward Teale Stacey and seven points from Townzen.
McKinley finished with game highs in points (22) and rebounds (16), but the RedHawks held every other Panther to single-digit scoring.
"We knew that most of their offense relied on McKinley," Townzen said. "(Hitting the early 3-pointers) was definitely important because it kept our confidence high and got us ready and excited."
Townzen led Colusa with 22 points, and Stacey made plays on both ends of the court with 12 points, 15 rebounds and three steals.
Both teams struggled on offense in the second quarter but a Stacey steal and assist on a three by Yasmin Moreno in the final minute of the first half gave Colusa a 26-23 lead heading into the break. Moreno finished the game with eight points.
The offensive woes continued for both teams in the third quarter as they combined for 11 points and Colusa entered the final quarter with a two-point lead.
Townzen scored the first four points of the fourth quarter but Maxwell chipped away at the lead, tying it at 36-36 on a bucket by Powell with three minutes remaining. Powell finished the game with nine points and 11 rebounds.
Maxwell managed just one rebound and no points in the final three minutes as the RedHawks scored the final nine points of the game.
The Panthers had to play the final six minutes without one of the team's best players, Jessie Otterson, who fouled out. With just seven players in uniform, the Panthers didn't have the depth to keep up.
"That's what we got, so we can't make excuses. That's who we are," Maxwell coach Leo LaGrande said. "I thought coach (Jerry) Davies made some good adjustments. You have an offense and you have some good looks and they didn't fall and that's basketball, they just didn't fall."
The Panthers will try to get back on track with a home game on Thursday at 7 p.m. against Biggs.
Colusa makes the trip to Portola for a chance to knock the Tigers down a peg in the standings at 5 p.m. on Friday.
CONTACT Kirk Barron at 747-4789