If the battle for Shasta County supremacy this hoops season is anything like the Harlan Carter Invitational, this is going to be an exciting winter.
Foothill High’s boys basketball team used a 7-0 run midway through the fourth quarter and staved off a late Enterprise push to win 61-56 Saturday at Manatowa Gymnasium, capturing back-to-back Harlan Carter titles for the first time in program history.
“The goal in the preseason isn’t necessarily to win the game but to get better and we got better this week,” said Foothill coach Bill Elliott, which guided the Cougars to a 4-0 mark in the opening week of the year.
Josiah Palumbo hit both ends of a 1-and-1 to put Foothill up four with 20.7 seconds left. Enterprise’s Demarreya Lewis-Cooper tried to answer with a layup but was fouled. He missed the first free throw but made the second to keep it a one possession game. Except Enterprise couldn’t trap Hunter Edwards and he fed Palumbo for a transition layup with seven seconds left to seal it.
In the past, Foothill (4-0) has been known as a team to let it fly from deep to open up the offense. But it’s been the Cougars’ defense that has propelled them thus far.
Lewis-Cooper and Jermaine Mondaine each managed to score 17 points for Enterprise but Foothill’s ability to switch defenses throughout the game, including the debut of its 1-3-1 defense to put more pressure on Lewis-Cooper to run the Hornet offense.
“We know he’s going to score and we forced him into triple teams, he still scored sometimes but I felt like we contained him,” said Foothill senior Bekdoo Lewis, who finished with a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds to be named the tournament MVP.
Early on it was all Enterprise, jumping out to a 20-12 lead after the opening quarter, getting nine points from Mondaine and a pair of 3s in the period from Lewis-Cooper. Gage Owen got in on the action with an inside bucket — set up by Lewis-Cooper — followed by a 3-pointer to lead 25-20. Foothill regained the lead at 26-25 on a pair of Nick Dore free throws and finished the half on an 8-2 run thanks to a pair of Palumbo free throws from Jim Deaver’s technical foul to lead 30-27 at the break.
The Cougars never trailed the rest of the game.
“Every game we’re getting better,” said Palumbo. “Starting with U-Prep we were at 5 percent capacity, then 10 percent, then 15 and 20. We’re just trying to progress every game.”
Enterprise kept pace in third but Foothill’s ability to switch defenses every couple of possessions kept the Hornets from getting in a rhythm. The Hornets went nearly four minutes without a field goal while Lindsey cleaned up his own miss inside and Lewis turned a steal into a layup to build a 44-36 lead.
“Their defense kept us scrambling for awhile,” Deaver said. “Our guys were standing around and weren’t moving and just waiting for (Lewis-Cooper) to create. We have to run offense or else they’re going to have three guys in his face.”
Kobe Fuller’s 3 and Cody Crane’s baseline jumper got Enterprise within 1. But, like most of the night, Foothill took control by cleaning up misses inside when the game got close. Dore’s and-1 putback followed by a 3 from the wing gave the Cougars breathing room before Brandon McCracken’s putback extended the lead to nine – the largest of the game by either team.
“We don’t usually have much size, we usually have to out-athlete the other teams but we were productive underneath (the hoop) and kept crashing the boards,” Elliott said.
Enterprise traded 3s for 2s down the stretch, with Brennan Ramirez, Mondaine and Owen each hitting from downtown in a span of 67 seconds to bring it within two with 22 ticks remaining.
Foothill tried a double-inbound pass along the baseline from Palumbo to Hunter Edwards to catch Enterprise out of position on defense. Instead, Owen was called for a foul while colliding with Palumbo coming back onto the court to send him to the free throw line.
The senior point guard nailed both ends of a 1-and-1 to go up four and Foothill fouled Lewis-Cooper on the ensuing possession. He split his freebies and the Cougars finished it off for the tourney title.
Lewis-Cooper and Mondaine were named all-tournament while Foothill’s all-tourney picks were Lindsey and Dore along with Lewis being named MVP.
Foothill — 12-18-14-17—61
Enterprise — 20-7-11-18—56
Foothill (4-0): Lewis 14, Dore 14, Palumbo 11, Lindsey 10, McCracken 9, Edwards 3.
Enterprise (3-2): Lewis-Cooper 17, Mondaine 17, Owen 10, Ramirez 7, Fuller 3, Crane 2.
3-pointers – Foothill 3: Edwards, Lindsey, Dore; Enterprise 7: Lewis-Cooper (2), Owen (2), Fuller, Ramirez, Mondaine.
7th: Mazama 54, Spring Creek 36
5th: Del Oro 49, Vallejo 37
3rd: Placer 80, Shasta 68
Championship: Foothill 61, Enterprise 56
7th: Mazama 54, Spring Creek 36
The Vikings of Oregon took seventh place. Mazama led 24-15 at half and outscored the Spartans of Nevada 20-11 in the final period. Mazama was led by 17 points from Cole Brosterhous and nine points apiece from Tristan Lee and Caleb Waits.
Spring Creek was led by Garrison Bylund’s seven points.
5th: Del Oro 49, Vallejo 37
The Golden Eagles won the consolation final to finish the tournament 2-1. Del Oro jumped out to a 17-7 lead in the opening quarter and led 26-16 at half. Juwelle Jack scored 13 points to lead Vallejo while J.D. Duley scored 30 points. Jared Hill added 10 points.
Duley and Jack were both named all-tourney along with Del Oro’s Mason Mancasola.
3rd: Placer 80, Shasta 67
MVP — Bekdoo Lewis, Foothill
Luke Lindsey, Foothill
Nick Dore, Foothill
Demarreya Lewis-Cooper, Enterprise
Jermaine Mondaine, Enterprise
Max Petrenko, Placer
Armal Dhinsa, Shasta
J.D. Duley, Del Oro
Mason Mancasola, Del Oro
Juwelle Jack, Vallejo
Caleb Waits, Mazama
Reed Westwood, Spring Creek
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