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Troughton, Panthers beat buzzer, RedHawks
All game the Colusa High defense stifled the fast-paced Maxwell offense, but in the end the Panther defense stopped Colusa on back-to-back trips down the court and Zach Troughton made a huge play as time expired.
The Panthers got the ball back with 10 seconds left after an Eddie Rangel steal. Troughton ended up with the ball in his hands at the top of the key and with a wide-open lane to the hoop as the final seconds ticked down.
His shot missed, but Troughton was fouled and calmly made two free throws to secure the 40-38 victory for the Panthers on Wednesday in Maxwell.
"I had to take it, I knew how much time we had," Troughton said. "We were going to do a pick-and-role and it ended up in my hands and I went to the hoop."
The victory puts Maxwell (12-5, 5-0) firmly atop the Mid-Valley League standings, and Colusa squandered a chance at making it a two-team race by committing 22 turnovers, including turnovers on their final two possessions.
"I told the guys as hard as it was to take that last play, the game wasn't lost there. The game was lost the two previous times down the court by us not executing and taking care of the basketball," Colusa coach Marty Remmers said.
Colusa (9-11, 3-2) fell into a three-way tie for third place with Biggs and Portola.
The victory was a special one for Maxwell coach Forrest Bateman. It was his first against Colusa on the basketball court in his eight years of coaching at Maxwell. This year the Panthers beat Pierce, another first for Bateman, which is a credit to a special group of players, he said.
"It's a great group of kids, they're fun to coach and they listen. The kids' attitudes are awesome, when they get down they never give up and I can't ask for anything better than that."
The RedHawks led for most of the game, though never by more than seven points, before Maxwell tied the game 33-33 with 4:42 left on a free throw by George Barajas.
Troughton gave Maxwell its first lead since the first half by making two free throws with 3:36 left, but Colusa came back and tied the game on a three-pointer by Eric Barrera with 1:39 left.
Still tied with less than a minute remaining, Bryce Perry stole the ball for the Panthers, but R.J. Phillips returned the favor and Remmers called a timeout with 26 seconds remaining to set up one last shot for Colusa.
With about 10 seconds left, Rangel made his move, tipping the ball away and Bateman called a timeout with 8.1 seconds left, setting up Troughton's heroics at the buzzer.
Troughton finished with 14 points and seven rebounds, Barajas scored nine points and Rangel added seven.
Phillips finished with 14 points for Colusa and Destin Smith added 12.
Riley deWit, who made his return to the Maxwell basketball court for the first time since transferring to Colusa, added seven points and was a crucial part of Colusa's defense.
RedHawks guards deWit, Luke Corriea, Eric Barrera and Hayden Bailey were a big reason why the Panthers scored well-under their season average of 54 points a game, and held Barajas under 10 points for the first time since Jan. 4.
"Our guards are excellent defenders, I have no qualms about their effort or the way they play defense. We pressured them all night and forced them into plays they didn't want to do," Remmers said. "We did a good job of fronting (Troughton) in the post and not giving him easy buckets, but it just came down to execution on offense."
Maxwell travels to Williams on Wednesday and hosts Portola on Friday. Colusa travels to Quincy on Tuesday and hosts Williams on Friday.
CONTACT Kirk Barron at 458-2121 or email@example.com.