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Bailey's 29 sparks Colusa past Williams
With the two towns so close together, the gymnasium had a playoff atmosphere in Williams on Friday as Colusa High made the short trip to battle the Yellowjackets in a Colusa County clash.
With as much noise as the Williams cheering section could throw at them, the RedHawks' Hayden Bailey did his best to quiet the crowd, scoring 29 points to lead Colusa past Williams 76-60.
"Hayden came into the game focused on defense, which helped our offense as he dropped a cool 29," said RedHawks head man Brian Davis.
"Hayden was able to cause turnovers into points and was able to keep the team pumped up in key moments," the coach continued.
A pair of fast break buckets by sophomore Max Moreno and a hoop and a free throw from Riley de Witt quickly made it 7-0 for the visitors, but the pesky Yellowjackets continually found ways of playing themselves back into the ballgame.
Baskets by Freddy Velazquez and Robert Ramirez and a pair from the line from Robert Ramirez accounted for the next six points, and it was Bailey finishing off a three-point play that gave Colusa a 16-14 lead as the horn signaled the end of the first quarter.
A 12-2 advantage starting the second period put the RedHawks in front 28-16, but the 'Jackets responded with the next 11 points, including a 3-pointer and three-point play by Alex Velazquez in succession, to chants of "He's our freshman" from the Williams supporters.
After the Yellowjackets had pulled to within one, Colusa scored the next five points to go into halftime holding a 33-27 lead.
The third-quarter offense was fast and frenzied, with the RedHawks pulling away at 48-29, only for Velazquez to nail down another trey during an 11-0 run that closed the gap to eight points.
Bailey scored 11 of his points during the third frame, and Velazquez netted seven of his team-high 23, with the quarter ending with Colusa up 56-45.
The RedHawks' defense continued aggressively going after the ball and creating turnover opportunities, and while the score was 67-57 with just over three minutes remaining, Colusa ended the contest on a 9-3 run.
De Witt added 10 points of his own to Bailey's 29 and Moreno's 16, with Shane Saso capturing 12 rebounds to limit the 'Jackets' second-chance opportunities.
Noe Ramirez pitched in with 15 points for Williams.
Colusa upped its record to 7-1 to remain in a first-place tie atop the Mid-Valley League standings with Maxwell and improved to 17-7 overall.
Williams fell to 1-7 in the MVL and 8-12.
The RedHawks play a huge game in Maxwell tonight before hosting Portola on Friday.
The Yellowjackets open the doors to Biggs tonight and play in Quincy on Friday.
CONTACT Craig Purcell at 824-1036 or firstname.lastname@example.org