ANDERSON – Christian Teague didn’t fully get a night off but his teammates relieved the some of the pressure from the Cubs’ sharpshooter.
Sixth-seeded Anderson High’s boys basketball team had four players score in double figures to down No. 11 Wheatland 69-53 Wednesday night in the opening round of the Northern Section Division IV playoffs. All playoff coverage is sponsored by Redding Rancheria.
Teague a quiet game-high 18 points due to being overshadowed by the unselfishness of the Cubs. Anderson shared the ball in the half-court offense and in transition and the Cubs (16-11) thrived. Gator Wilson scored 15 points, Jack Ryan added 12 points and Rowdy Seaters contributed 11 points.
“Teague will do anything for his teammates – step up and take the big shot but he can’t do that for 32 minutes,” said Anderson coach Brian Long. “The game is designed to play together as a team and he’s a willing passer. Other guys can’t always look for him, they have to find each other and drive and attack to find the next guy and everyone was doing that tonight.”
Anderson jumped out to a commanding 19-7 lead at the end of the opening quarter and cruised the rest of the way. Wilson two steals into layups, Ryan hit a runner in the lane and Seaters made back-to-back short-range buckets to build a double digit Cub lead.
The ball didn’t have to flow through Teague’s hands as the senior was either in catch-and-shoot mode or dishing to an open teammate to let the ball flow around the floor. He nailed a 3-pointer to start the second quarter and added another one from the wing midway through the period that put Anderson up 18.
“Even though I didn’t touch the ball as much it doesn’t matter, I only care about winning,” Teague said. “This team is my family and when everyone’s ‘on’ it’s a great society on the court.”
Wilson converted back-to-back steals into fastbreak layups near the end of the half and Anderson was in complete control up 43-24 at the break. Four Cubs had had at least eight points at half with Wilson leading the way.
Anderson’s transition game was alive and well in the third. Seaters dropped in a layup with the Cubs on the move and Teague grabbed a rebound and went coast-to-coast for 2 to go up 21. The Cubs led 54-39 entering the fourth and Teague ran the floor again for a layup to start the final period.
Wheatland took advantage of a relaxed Anderson defense in the fourth by stringing six points together – its longest streak of the night. But Anderson answered with an 8-0 run, highlighted by Wilson setting up Anthony Ballestin inside to break the zone and Devin Wilson for a wide open downtown look. Teague capped it with an and-1 in transition and the Cubs slammed the door on a potential Pirate comeback.
“Every one in awhile everything clicks and we play beautiful basketball,” Long said. “Other times it’s grinding gears non-stop. We’re focused at times, we just can’t get into bad habits and lose focus.”
Anderson heads to take on fourth-seeded and 20-win Gridley Friday and its 6-foot-6 junior forward Grant Tull, who is scoring at a clip of 27.4 points per game.
“I’m super thankful to get a playoff win,” Long said. “These aren’t easy to come by. Gridley is very good so if we can keep our focus for the whole game then we have a shot.”
No. 6 Anderson 69, No. 11 Wheatland
Wheatland (12-14): Saechao 10, Wright 10, Wilkins 9, McAdams 7, McDaniel 6, Galvan 4, Perez 2, D. Chun 2, Williams 2, Strebel 1.
Anderson (16-11): Teague 18, G. Wilson 15, J. Ryan 12, Seaters 11, Ballestin 6, D. Wilson 6, B. Ryan 1.
3-pointers—Wheatland 3 (Saechao 32, McDaniel); Anderson 6 (Teague 3, D. Wilson 2, Seaters).
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