Shasta College’s Tanner Guinn goes up for a layup against Feather River Saturday night. Guinn scored a team-high 17 points in the 57-47 loss. (Photo by T.J. Holmes/Shasta County Sports)
Shasta College’s confidence has been growing since getting into Golden Valley Conference play, winning three of its past four games.
But for a four-minute stretch, the youthful Knights reverted back to its old ways and couldn’t fend off visiting Feather River in a 57-47 loss Saturday night in the Sierra Pacific Industries College Game of the Week to drop out of the top spot in the GVC standings.
Trailing by four with under 5 minutes to play, the Knights went on a scoring drought across 3 minutes, 27 seconds that allowed the Golden Eagles to pull away and steal a game on the road.
“For having a home game, we didn’t play with very much passion,” Shasta College coach Kele Fitzhugh said. “Like a freshmen group, this is the first time they’ve been in this situation. We played a little scared.”
Shasta’s only lead of the game was at 2-0 but never let Feather River get up big. Tanner Guinn, the Knight’s lone sophomore, drained a 3-pointer and a pull-up jumper to cut a seven-point deficit into two midway through the first half. The Knights kept pace except when the Golden Eagles’ Deandre Jones and Patrick Arnold hit consecutive 3-pointers late in the half and the Knights trailed 25-18 at the break.
The Knights saw a glimpse of what they’ve been capable of lately to open the second half, scoring nine straight points to tie it at 27. Guinn buried a 3, Brendan Hoag scoring inside, Michael Plunkitt fed Jalen Evans inside and Guinn’s fastbreak layup finished the run.
Shasta couldn’t take the lead but never let Feather River stretch its lead to more than six, answering often and keeping it a one-possession game on four separate occasions, the last coming from an and-1 play from Elijah Ramirez to make it 38-36 with 9:06 left.
“As bad as we played, we were still in the game,” Fitzhugh said.
Ramirez attacked the rim inside for two more buckets to bring the Knights with 44-40 and 46-42. But Shasta went cold, giving up back-to-back buckets in the paint from Jordan Garner and an Arnold putback for a 7-0 Feather River run to put the game out of reach. It didn’t help that the 6-foot-8 Evans went down with a knee injury while running the floor in transition and was out the rest of the game.
“It’s youth and the understanding of what it takes to get over the hump,” Fitzhugh said. “We can’t be afraid. We have to want it and make it happen.”
Guinn led the Knights with 17 points while Hoag added 10 and Ramirez pitched in with nine.
Shasta falls to third in the GVC but remains only one game behind Feather River and Butte, meaning if they Knights win out, they could still have a share of the conference title. It’s a goal Fitzhugh is stressing to his guys.
“I told them they are still in control of their own destiny,” Fitzhugh said. “It’s going to be up to them about how bad they really want it. We have the X’s and O’s but now is when we put the passion into it and that will get us there.”
Feather River 57, Shasta College 47
Feather River 27-30—57
Feather River (4-1 GVC, 12-6): Simon 19, Jones 14, Garner 8, Khalil 7, Arnold 6, Hogue 3.
Shasta (3-2 GVC, 5-15): Guinn 17, Hoag 10, Ramirez 9, Evans 5, Plunkitt 4, Guzzon 2.
3-pointers—Feather River 3 (Jones 2, Hogue); Shasta 3 (Guinn 3).
Team GVC, Overall
Feather River 4-1, 12-6
Butte 4-1, 11-11
Shasta 3-2, 5-15
Lassen 2-3, 11-10
Siskiyous 2-3, 5-18
Redwoods 0-5, 0-21