Claws out – Bruins win physical fight
The Bear River Bruins came out on top 60-50 after playing a full 32 minutes of scrapping, clawing, physical basketball against Lincoln in a Pioneer Valley League battle that saw two technicals and 35 personal fouls whistled.
Lincoln jumped out to a 10-2 lead early in the first quarter, but the Bruins fought back to get to the score to 10-7 after one period of play. The game became a see-saw battle from that point on with each team trading baskets.
However, with 3:10 left to play in the third quarter, Bruin senior Jake Lazor gave his team the upper hand with two baskets in a matter of 25 seconds – giving the Bruins a 36-32 lead. With Lazor’s baskets and two Fighting Zebra turnovers, Bear River never trailed again and gained something more crucial than a four-point lead – the momentum.
The tide continued to turn, but not completely until Lincoln’s 6-foot, 8-inch senior center Chris Wharton was called for a technical foul after slamming the ball to the ground as he disputed a jump-ball call. After being whistled for the technical with 4:45 left to play, Wharton did not return to the court. He finished the game with 10 points.
Bear River (9-8 overall, 1-1 PVL) calmly controlled the game from that point on.
“It was a really physical game and Bear River brought it,” Lincoln head coach Mike O’Connell said. “We lost some composure out there and that is something I will not accept.”
Lincoln fell to 5-12 overall and 0-2 in the PVL.
While Lazor’s baskets may have been the turning point of the game, it was the play of senior point guard Anthony Logan that sparkled throughout.
After getting off to a frustrating start, committing a couple of turnovers and missing a pair of jumpers, Logan went to the bench with 4:48 left in the first quarter.
“It’s been like this all year that I have been coming out slow and then mentally taking myself out of the game,” Logan said. “So when I got back in during the second quarter I took out my frustration on the court and got aggressive. I don’t have the height so I really have to use my speed out there.”
Logan made his presence felt, scoring 14 of the team’s 31 second- and third-quarter points, hustling around the court and mixing things up on the defensive end every chance he had.
Connell later admitted that Logan’s speed did create some mismatches for his team. Logan finished the game with 16 points.
Lazor led all scorers with 18 points and seven rebounds while Matt Mocek and Matt Elders added 13 and nine points, respectively.
“I told the guys after the game that the reason we played well tonight was because we had a good practice from all 13 players Wednesday night,” Bear River head coach Jack McCrory said. “We played harder, more intense, smarter and within ourselves tonight.”
The Bruins are back in action Tuesday, traveling to PVL foe Mira Loma.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
The Nevada City Brewers left no doubt they were the top Junior Division team in Little League’s District 11.