REDDING, Calif. – The Shasta College women's basketball team held off a late surge from College of the Redwoods to win 65-59 Saturday night to stay atop the Golden Valley Conference standings.
The Knights led by double digits for most of the second half, including the first 6 minutes, 36 seconds of the fourth quarter until Redwoods' Jayden Jonson buried a 3-pointer, followed up by six Bobby Purify's free throws to bring it within four.
But the Corsairs (0-6 GVC, 5-14) had difficulty getting it to a one possession game, missing on a second-chance opportunity and sophomore Kayla Bonomini put the game to rest with a pair of freebies with 20 seconds remaining.
"I'm proud of these girls, if you would have said to me at the start of the year we'd be 5-1 in conference play, I would have seen that coming," said Shasta College coach Jerry Brown. "But that's a credit to them and their hard work to get to this point."
Shasta (5-1 GVC, 12-9) didn't have the start it wanted, allowing Redwoods to jump out to a 22-15 lead after the opening period due to a drop in energy and a Corsair team looking to knock off the top-ranked Knights.
But Shasta surrendered only five points in the second quarter and turned the seven-point deficit into a 30-27 halftime lead. Keeley Tuggle hit a 3-pointer and a transition layup and Bonomini nailed all three foul shots to fuel the run.
"They play harder against us than they play against anyone," Brown said. "They were ready and give them credit. As much as I told the kids, they didn't believe it. They wanted us."
In the third, Tuggle and Jordan Martinez hit 3s to fuel a 12-3 run. Freshman Terra Crawford scored the final eight points of the period for the Knights to lead 52-40, and then carried it over into the fourth with 12 of her team-high 16 points coming in a five-minute stretch.
"I think she's becoming mentally stronger and tougher with the ball and looking for her shot and going for it now," Martinez said of Crawford.
Shasta kept distance from Redwoods in the fourth, getting an old-fashioned 3-point play from Mari Fernandez to go up 12 with 3:34 left. But Redwoods slowly worked its way into the game while Shasta went on a drought over the next 3:14 before Bonomini closed the game out for good.
Justyse Cooper had a double-double for Shasta with 15 points and 10 rebounds while Bonomini scored 13 points and Tuggle chipped in with 10 points.
Shasta hosts Butte College on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Team GVC, Overall
Shasta 5-1, 12-9
Siskiyous 5-2, 15-7
Lassen 3-3, 14-9
Feather River 3-3, 12-8
Butte 3-3, 9-10
Redwoods 0-6, 5-14