ANDERSON – Brian Long has been searching for that signature win to catapult his Cubs the final stretch of the season.
Friday night’s nail-biting overtime victory over rival West Valley might be enough.
Anderson rallied from a seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter and held visiting West Valley without a field goal for nearly 10 minutes across final period and overtime to pull off a 55-49 Northern Athletic League victory.
“I’m looking for something to kick us into that next gear,” Long said. “I don’t think we’re at our best yet.”
Video by Tracy Holmes/Shasta County Sports
After scoring the final four points of the fourth quarter on a Christian Teague jumper and Gator Wilson layup, the Cubs scored the first nine points of overtime as Teague hit a key jumper to get separation. The Eagles didn’t score in the extra time until Marcus Francescut made a 3 with eight seconds left in the game.
The first meeting between the district rivals ended up a 22-point West Valley win. But Anderson evened the season series in front of a packed home crowd.
“Ever since that first time we lost to West Valley we’ve been trying so hard to get ready to play them again,” Teague said. “I feel like this has to help us moving on.”
Teague was the lone Cub in double figures with 22 points while Devon Armstrong tallied eight points and nine rebounds.
West Valley’s Hayden Boyes led the Eagles with 13 points, scoring 11 of them in the opening quarter. Boyes made a trio of 3-pointers in the opening period, including a buzzer-beater to put West Valley ahead 19-10.
But the Cubs answered with Teague scoring six straight points and Anthony Ballestin’s bucket late in the period brought Anderson within two before half at 23-21.
West Valley took advantage of four Anderson turnovers in the third quarter to string together an 8-0 run. Ben Brindley completed an and-1 on a fast break layup and James Salvatierra hit a deep jumper. But Anderson’s Rowdy Seaters buried a 3 and a jumper and Teague stole the inbound pass at nailed a half-court buzzer-beater to pull within eight entering the final period.
The momentum swung in Anderson’s favor from that shot as Teague’s emotions were running wild at that point.
“His competitive nature shows through every practice, every game, he’s just a competitor and wants to win,” Long said about Teague. “He runs hot so occasionally he boils over but that kid is our guy. He has a ton of heart and is a great teammate.”
Francescut dished to Brindley for 2 and Salvatierra stole the ball and dished to Boyes for a finger-roll layup in transition to lead 43-36 with 5:59 to go. But that was the last field goal West Valley made until eight seconds left, allowing for Anderson to finish the game on a 19-6 run.
That’s been the struggle for the Eagles since Northern Section MVP candidate and deadly scorer Sean Proscher tore his ACL in December.
“We’ve been struggling to find that guy to make a shot consistently,” said West Valley coach James O’Brien. “One hand it’s good you can’t key on one guy but that’s also what hurts us in the end. We need that guy that says ‘OK, I’ll go get us a bucket’ when we need one.”
Teague and Gator Wilson’s field goals tied it at 44 with 37 seconds left. Salvatierra missed the front-end of a 1-and-1 with 28 seconds left but Teague was called for traveling while setting his feet for a shot with 6.1 to go. West Valley called timeout and got Francescut the ball but his 3-ball was short at the buzzer to force overtime.
In the extra period, Gator Wilson made a transition layup to give the Cubs their first lead since 5-4 in the first quarter. Teague followed by burying a deep jumper and Anderson made free throws the rest of the way, taking advantage of West Valley being in the double-bonus. The Cubs were 7-of-12 from the free throw line in overtime and the Eagles didn’t have an answer.
A victory like that is how Long is seeing his squad mature and prepare for the postseason.
“In the past we’ve lost our heads and didn’t stay in it and didn’t rely on each other,” Long said. “Tonight we had plenty of moments where we could have wavered and stopping believing in each other but they fought through that tonight.
“It was a good team win for us to grow.”
West Valley 19-4-16-5-5—49
West Valley (2-4 NAL, 8-12): Boyes 13, Rogers 10, Francescut 8, Brindley 8, Mason 4, Salvatierra 3, Walker 3.
Anderson (3-3 NAL, 12-10): Teague 22, Armstrong 8, G. Wilson 6, Seaters 6, Ballestin 6, Ryan 4, Devon Hyatt-Wilson 3.
3-pointers—West Valley 7: Boyes (3), Francescut (1), Salvatierra (1), Walker (1), Brindley (1); Anderson 6: Teague (3), Seateres (1), Ryan (2).
Team NAL, Overall
U-Prep 6-0, 17-7
Lassen 4-2, 16-8
Anderson 3-3, 12-10
West Valley 2-4, 8-12
Yreka 2-4, 11-12
Central Valley 1-5, 9-13