PALO CEDRO — The Foothill boys basketball team is submitting its case as the most superior team in the Northern Section.
Tuesday night their dominance continued en route over Chico for a 82-46 home win.
“They asserted themselves and woke up, and you would expect that from the best team in the section,” said Chico coach Abraham Simmons in regards to the 2nd quarter.
Chico came out aggressive early jumping on top of Foothill 15-5 mid 1st quarter and led 17-13 at the end of one.
“They came out really hard and tried to be really physical with us, which they did a really nice job of,” said Foothill coach Bill Elliott.
“We talked in between quarters and said we need to match their physicalness and try to match their intensity. We didn’t come out with the intensity we should have. We know every team is going to come out like that against us. We just had to change our mindset.”
A change of mindset was on display late in the first quarter. Bringing more intensity as the Cougars defense was at it again. Foothill dominating the second quarter, outscoring the Panthers 24-2 to give the Cougars the 37-19 advantage at intermission.
After a technical foul was called on Foothill’s Bekdoo Lewis, Elliot inserted Dore midway through the first quarter. Dore had himself a game, making life difficult in the paint for Chico and doing work on the glass. He finished with a double-double, tying Hunter Edwards for the game-high with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Lewis didn’t play following the technical.
Foothill didn’t allow Chico to get the lead back or even crack single digits since taking the lead around the 5:59 mark in the second quarter. Foothill outscored Chico 45-27 in the second half for the 36-point victory, its largest margin of victory through Eastern Athletic League play so far.
Foothill comes off an impressive road win against the defending Northern Section Division III champion PV last week and the No. 2 power-ranked team by Shasta County Sports and the Chico E-R. The Cougars are now winners of nine straight games and remain undefeated in EAL play at 4-0.
Meanwhile, Chico comes off EAL wins over Shasta and Enterprise, but a 68-56 loss to Pleasant Valley and a loss to Foothill on Tuesday night puts them even in the EAL at 2-2 and 11-8 overall. They travel to Red Bluff on Thursday to take on the Spartans for another EAL matchup and have a chance for revenge in a few weeks when they host Foothill on Feb. 11.
“It’s basketball, you get to play a lot of games. You don’t have to wait a week. We just shake it off,” said Simmons.
Foothill 82, Chico 46
Chico (2-2 EAL, 11-8): Owens 10, Driscoll 7, Padilla 7, Thomas 6, James 5, Del Carlo 4, Schaeffer 4, Butterfield 2, Lindsey 1.
Foothill (4-0 EAL, 20-2): Edwards 16, Dore 16, Lindsey 15, Palumbo 12, McCracken 7, Clark 5, Mast 4, Sisneros 3, Schmitt 2, Maasen 2.
3-pointers—Chico 1 (James); Foothill 6 (Palumbo 2, Edwards, Lindsey, Clark, Sisneros).
Team EAL, Overall
Foothill 4-0, 20-2
PV 3-1, 13-8
Chico 2-2, 11-8
Enterprise 1-2, 12-8
Shasta 1-3, 14-8
Red Bluff 0-3, 4-16