REDDING, Calif. – Shasta College's Kayla Bonomini made nine consecutive shots in the third quarter and poured in a career-high 42 points in a 91-42 victory over visiting Feather River College on Saturday.
The sophomore from Eureka was 11 of 12 shooting in the second half and sank 10 of 14 shots from 3-point range on the night to lift the Knights to a dominating home victory to keep control of the Golden Valley Conference with a 4-1 record.
"She knocked them down. I haven't seen anything like that in all my years of coaching," Shasta College coach Jerry Brown said. "They were pure. A nice confident stroke. I'm proud of her. She shot the hell out of the ball."
It was only a couple of weeks ago that Shasta struggled shooting. A concentrated effort to turn that around has fueled Shasta's late surge to the top of the GVC with one more game remaining against every conference opponent.
"We've been spending so much extra time in the gym and shooting in practice and it's showing that it's paying off," Brown said. "But the thing is, you can practice it all you want but you still have to do it in the game."
Shasta jumped out to a 19-2 lead after the opening period and scored 20 straight points in a 10-minute stretch in the first half to eventually lead 38-10 at half. The Knights pushed in transition to set up easy buckets as sophomore point guard Jordan Martinez facilitated the tempo and got everyone in the mix, finishing with a near-triple-double with 12 assists, 11 rebounds and nine points. Mari Fernandez was locked in as well on both offense and defense, Keeley Tuggle was a monster on defense and Justyse Cooper bullied her way around the glass with eight rebounds and four blocks.
"Jordan is playing tremendous basketball right now, setting up the whole team," Brown said. "Keeley (Tuggle) and Justyse are cleaning up the boards, it was a great team effort."
The third quarter was mostly Bonomini. Her teammates fed the hot hand and Bonomini couldn't help but smile as every shot was falling, making 3-pointers on three straight possessions. Shasta outscored Feather River 32-12 in the period and cruised the rest of the way.
"I was just shooting, that was just messing around," Bonomini said. "When you're shooting well you get in a rhythm and it doesn't go away."
Fernandez finished with 16 points and seven rebounds in the win. Shasta improves to 4-1 in GVC and 11-9 overall and hosts College of the Redwoods on Saturday.
Team GVC, Overall
Shasta 4-1, 11-9
Siskiyous 3-2, 13-7
Lassen 3-2, 14-8
Butte 2-2, 8-9
Feather River 2-3, 11-8
Redwoods 0-4, 5-12