The West Valley and Foothill High School boys and girls basketball teams came together Saturday night at Shasta College for the ninth annual Think Pink Game.
Bringing awareness to Breast Cancer throughout the night with raffles and prizes was the goal although the main focus was on the court.
The Foothill boys jumped out to a quick 7-0 start to begin the game. Tommy Jensen got the scoring go first with a right wing 3-pointer, followed by a Luke Lindsey left elbow jumper and layup. This forced a West Valley timeout. Out of that timeout the Eagles would outscore the Cougars 9-3 to trail 12-9 at end of one period.
Foothill began the second quarter with a Hunter Edwards top of the key 3-ball and a pair of free throws by Brandon McCracken.
West Valley continued to play nearly even with Foothill during the first half. A Ben Brindley and-1 layup, a Marcus Francescut jumper a few possessions later, combined with a pair of free-throws and a James Salvatierra trey all in the quarter kept West Valley close. Hayden Boyes would hit a layup before the buzzer and Foothill led 25-23 at intermission.
“We talked about picking up a little bit higher at full court, and started a different lineup in the second half. But that’s mainly what we talked about at halftime,” said Foothill coach Bill Elliott.
“How we were going to put pressure on them defensively. I think defense will lead to offense, which it did.”
The Eagles out of the second half, didn’t look the same. Foothill didn’t allow a single point in the quarter, scoring 22 points of its own. The Cougars’ run extended their three-point halftime edge to 25 entering the fourth.
Bekdoo Lewis didn’t start the game, but he started the second half and led his team in scoring, dropping nine of his (team-high) 12 points in the quarter. Doing a little of everything, making his presence known in the post and letting it go from behind the 3-point line.
A 58-33 win gives Foothill their eighth win in nine contests in their annual “Think Pink” game that dates back to the 2012-2013 season.
“Playing Foothill, it’s a tough matchup. … They’ve been one of the best teams around,” said West Valley coach James O’Brien.
“Bill (Elliott) always done such a great job with his kids.”
The Foothill and West Valley girls played a gritty back-and-forth battle. After being deadlocked at nine in the first quarter, the Cougars managed to hold a three-point lead at intermission. Melissa Mitchell had six of her eight points in the first half.
Foothill took a 25-19 advantage at the end of the third, but played the free-throw game with West Valley leading up to the final seconds of the game. The Eagles had their opportunities as Foothill would miss free-throws and, what would have been a 3-point field goal rimmed out at the buzzer for a 34-31 Foothill victory.
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