Knights come alive in 91-44 pounding of Redwoods

Shasta College’s Michael Plunkitt drives the lane against College of the Redwoods Saturday night in the Knights’ 91-44 win. (Photo by T.J. Holmes/Shasta County Sports)

It’s not often everyone on a college basketball team gets playing time when you get into conference play. It’s more even rare when every player scores…in the first half.

Freshman Mike Maasen was one of five players to score in double figures for Shasta College as the Knights rolled over a struggling College of the Redwoods program 91-44 Saturday night in the Sierra Pacific Industries College Game of the Week.

Maasen came off the bench to hit five 3-pointers for a team-high 17 points as all reserves saw increased court time against the winless Corsairs. Alessandro Guzzon chipped in with 13 points, Tanner Guinn added 12, and Corey Busta and Brendan Hoag finished with 11 apiece. Even with the successful shooting night, the Knights never got out of character.

“When you get up big in a game like that, it’s easy to think about yourself so I was proud they stayed within themselves and played for each other,” Shasta College coach Kele Fitzhugh said.

Shasta (4-2 GVC, 5-16) took an early lead on three straight fastbreak layups from Tanner Guinn, two of which came off his steals and the third from Busta. That set the Knights up 14-5 but the separation came two minutes later when Hoag and Maasen drilled back-to-back 3-pointers to ignite a 22-0 first-half run that lasted nearly nine minutes.

Elijah Ramirez’s and-1 bucket off a transition layup fueled the spurt just as much as Maasen hitting back-to-back 3s, followed by Ramirez feeding Tanner Bidwell in transition. Daniel Kelly’s layup put Shasta up 40-11 with 4:54 remaining in the first half.

“Our starters get us going and we can bring a spark off the bench and that brings up the whole team,” said Maasen following his collegiate career-high night.

Maasen and Fitzhugh weren’t the only ones to take not about the unselfishness of the Knights, sharing the ball with crisp passes and letting the offense flow the way it intended to be.

“We feed off each other’s energy,” said Hoag. “When someone starts getting hot, we keep dishing it around the wing and another person is going to get hot and then we have everyone scoring at will.”

Shasta went into the half up 49-21, its largest first-half point total this season.

Busta’s 3 early in the second half put the Knights up 32 and the lead never dropped below 30 the rest of the game. Shasta put together an 11-0 run late in the second half, highlighted by Maasen’s fifth 3-pointer and two more treys from Guzzon.

Shasta’s next test is tough with a home contest against Butte College on Saturday, which beat Shasta the first wave of conference play. If the Knights have plans to capture back-to-back GVC titles, Saturday is a must-win.

“Last game they out-rebounded us like crazy,” said Guinn, who finished with 12 points. “That just means we have more work to do and we have to have another really great week of practice.”

Shasta College 91, Redwoods 44
Redwoods 21-23—44
Shasta 49-42—91
Redwoods (0-7 GVC, 0-23): Macaraeg 18, Thrap 8, Jackson 8, Snowton 7, Bryant 3.
Shasta (4-2 GVC, 6-15): Maasen 17, Guzzon 13, Guinn 12, Busta 11, Hoag 11, Kelley 8, Plunkitt 6, Chao 6, Ramirez 3, Bidwell 2, Thompson 2.
3-pointers—Redwoods 7 (Macareg 4, Thrap, Snowton, Bryant); Shasta 10 (Maasen 5, Guzzon 3, Busta, Hoag).

GVC Standings
Team GVC, Overall
Butte 5-1, 12-11
Feather River 4-2, 12-7
Shasta 4-2, 6-15
Lassen 3-3, 12-10
Siskiyous 3-4, 6-19
Redwoods 0-7, 0-23

About T.J. Holmes

T.J. is a national award-winning journalist who has roamed sidelines, baselines and bleachers in the North State since 2010. He shares his passion for sports and the community with his fiancé Tracy, who works alongside him as a videographer for Shasta County Sports. Story tip: shastacountysports@gmail.com.

View all posts by T.J. Holmes