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Foothill outlasts Shasta for 72-67 overtime win

The Shasta Wolves played 30 minutes of pretty good basketball Tuesday against Foothill. Problem is, including the overtime period, the game lasted 36 minutes.

Foothill (18-7, 5-2 Eastern Athletic League took advantage of ice-in-the-veins free throw shooting late, five players in double figures and a few bad possessions by the Wolves to come away with a 72-67 EAL win at the Cougars’ Palace.

Josiah Hutt (seen in a file photo) led Foothill with 22 points in a 72-67 overtime win over Shasta on Tuesday at the Cougars’ Palace. (File photo by Mike Daly / Shasta County Sports)

The Shasta Wolves played 30 minutes of pretty good basketball Tuesday against Foothill. Problem is, including the overtime period, the game lasted 36 minutes.

Foothill (18-7, 5-2 Eastern Athletic League took advantage of ice-in-the-veins free throw shooting late, five players in double figures and a few bad possessions by the Wolves to come away with a 72-67 EAL win at the Cougars’ Palace.

Through the first three quarters neither team built a lead of more than five as the lead see-sawed for the first 24 minutes. Shasta (13-11, 3-4 EAL) led 20-19 after the first quarter and by two, 32-30 at intermission as Dilraj Sahota had 16 of his game-high 30 at the break.

The game saw five lead changes in the third quarter as Shasta entered the fourth quarter up 48-46 after Caden Turner buried a 3-pointer from the right wing. The Cougars didn’t help their cause, going 2-of-6 in the first four minutes of the third.

“It was one of those things where we hit the shots at the right time and free throws at the right time,” Foothill coach Bill Elliott said. “Shasta kind of really outplayed execution-wise. We stayed in the game.”

Shasta opened the fourth period on a 10-6 run over the first 3:30 of the period and had a chance to extend the 58-52 lead, but Sahota couldn’t cap the old-fashioned 3-point play and Caden Cushman missed two free throws on the Wolves’ next possession.

Instead, Foothill scored the next six points to knot the game at 58 as Josiah Hutt canned a pair of freebies, drove the lane on the next possession for a low-post bucket and Josiah Palumbo drained a pair of free throws as Shasta’s foul trouble – they were over the limit late in the third period – gave the home team an edge down the stretch.

“Once we closed to within one possession, I felt good because of us being in bonus at the time,” Elliott said.

JT Beasley put Shasta up 60-58 with 2:10 left to play on a beautiful back-door cut fed by Caden Cushman before both teams went cold over the next 90 seconds. Foothill missed a triple, got the rebound and missed the putback only to have Shasta  run the back-door play again and miss the bunny. Another Foothill trey miss and another Shasta miss in the paint led, eventually, to a Hutt basket and set up a wild, end-of-regulation sequence that saw three turnovers and three missed baskets in the span of 15 seconds before heading to overtime.

“We played more consistent as a team and were more unselfish,” Sahota said. “The past three games, we’ve been playing less selfish and improving on defense and once we start clicking, we clicked tonight, but we didn’t play a full game.”

The Cougars opened the bonus period with the first four points – two Palumbo free throws and a baseline drive bucket from Hutt – before Sahota hit a jumper to cut the Foothill lead to 64-62 with 2:21 left in the extra frame.

“Taking the lead was important,” Elliott said. “That makes them think ‘Oh we have to come back and score’ and sometimes when you think like that things don’t go like that. We turned the tide down the stretch.”

And it didn’t help the Wolves’ cause that they turned the ball over three times in the four-minute overtime, including one out of a timeout.

“It’s the little mistakes, the mental lapses, but we’ll fix it,” Sahota said.

Foothill extended its lead to 68-62 on buckets by Hutt and Bekdoo Lewis before Armal Dhinsa canned a triple from the right corner. But Luke Lindsey answered with a low-post basket and Palumbo iced the win with two of this four freebies in the overtime period. He finished with 13, as did Hunter Edwards, who nailed three first-half 3-pointers. Lewis and Lindsey each chipped in 10 and Hutt dropped 22 for Foothill, which hosts Chico on Friday.

For the Wolves, Sahota had a breakout night with 30 and Caden Turner added 11. Beasley added nine for the Shasta, which travels to PV on Friday..

Shasta 20, 12, 16, 12, 7 – 67
Foothill – 19, 11, 16, 14, 12 – 70
Shasta – Cushman 2, Dhinsa 6, S. Turner 9, Beasley 9, C. Turner 11, Sahota 30.
Foothill – Rossman 4, Lewis 10, Lindsey 10, Edwards 13, Palumbo 13, Hutt 22.
3-Pointers – Shasta: 7 Beasley, Sahota, Dhinsa (2), C. Turner (3); Foothill: 7 Lewis, Edwards (3), Hutt (3).

Aaron Williams has been involved in the North State sports scene for nearly two decades. He spent eight years as the Sports Editor for the local newspaper and another four more as the voice of high school football on the radio. In addition to coaching freshman football, Williams is also the public address announcer for the Shasta College football and basketball teams.

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