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RedHawks send Myers out in style, thump Portola
The RedHawks made the Mid-Valley League girls basketball race quite a bit more interesting by crushing first-place Portola 44-29 on Friday at Colusa High.
Senior point-guard Mattie Myers hit a 3-pointer four minutes into the first quarter to give Colusa a 15-0 lead over the short-handed Tigers, who were without three players due to illness and injury.
Myers scored eight points in her final game in a RedHawks uniform before going in for season-ending surgery Monday on her ankle, and helped Colusa (12-8, 4-1) move into a virtual three-way tie atop the MVL standings with Portola (10-6, 3-1) and Maxwell (10-5, 4-1).
"It's big payback, (Portola) knocked us out of the playoffs two years in a row. It's just showing them we've come back and we're stronger," Myers said.
About a month ago, Myers went to the emergency room with pain in her ankle and doctors discovered she had a cyst on her heel. The surgery, which will remove the cyst and strengthen her heel with bone from a cadaver, will put Myers out of commission for 4-5 months, she said.
Determined to play through the pain until the surgery, Myers wore an ankle brace on the court and changed into a heavy boot after each game.
"After I knew that I had the injury, I kind of just kept thinking about it. It was hard but I just knew that basketball is my life so I had to play through it," Myers said.
The RedHawks lose 6.5 points, 3 assists and 1.7 steals a game with Myers out of the lineup, but more importantly, she is the player who brings the ball up the court and gets the offense started.
Paige Townzen will move over from the wing to take over for Myers, and brings a more aggressive, slashing style of play to the position. Townzen averaged 7.7 points, 5.7 rebounds 3.5 assists and 1.4 steals so far this year, and had a big day on Friday, scoring 12 points with nine rebounds, six assists and four steals.
Yasmin Moreno and Savannah Miller split time on the wing and will move into full-time roles. Devin McKey, Ashley Ornbaun and Kimberlee Harmon will likely see increased action coming off the bench.
The RedHawks faced a must-win against Portola to stay in the MVL race and had plenty of motivation, according to coach Jerry Davies.
"Two reasons, one was because we could send a message back to Maxwell that we're still in it and the other thing is the girls really wanted to have a good, successful last game for Mattie," Davies said.
Teale Stacey scored 10 points and Townzen added eight as Colusa built a 23-4 lead by the end of the first quarter, but Portola regrouped by the end of the half and shut the RedHawks out in the final four minutes while going on a 9-0 run.
Emily Mobley, who got into foul trouble early, scored the first three points of the second half and the RedHawks opened the third quarter with a 10-0 run for a 38-13 lead before the Tigers outscored the reserves 11-4 in the fourth quarter.
Stacey made up for Mobley's absence under the hoop, leading Colusa with 16 points, 16 rebounds and three steals. Mobley added five points and four rebounds.
Though the game wasn't very competitive, Davies expects Portola to put up a fight when they face off on the Tigers' home court on March 14. The Tigers should be back to full strength by then and the 3 1/2 hour drive will be the RedHawks' challenge to overcome.
"It's just one of those things, all teams are dangerous and we understand that. We tripped up the other night (against Maxwell), we wanted to play better but we just didn't, so we could have a great matchup with Portola when we go back up there," Davies said.
The RedHawks struggled on offense against Maxwell High's 2-3 zone in Colusa's 44-29 loss to Maxwell on Jan. 22 but had little trouble getting to the hoop against the Tigers, a team which beat Maxwell 43-25 on Jan. 18.
"We just went into Maxwell's game thinking we that we had it, full of ourselves. We were playing off and not doing what we did tonight and attacking," Myers said.
Colusa travels to play Biggs (9-10, 2-3) on Thursday. The RedHawks won the first meeting between the teams 51-26 on Jan. 10 in Colusa.
CONTACT Kirk Barron at 458-2121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.