REDDING, Calif. – Shasta College's men's basketball team snapped its three-game winning streak with a 76-70 loss to Butte College but finished the week with a 96-61 road win over College of Siskiyous.
In the loss to Butte, Shasta led 29-28 at halftime in a back-and-forth and even matchup. The Knights' Zach Thompson dished to Michael Plunkitt under the hoop, Derek Gorden nailed a 3-pointer and Simmer Singh's putback fueled an 8-0 Knight run to stretch the lead to nine early in the second half.
But Butte responded with a 12-0 run and upped it to 16-2 to shift the momentum. The Roadrunners' Shakwon Lewis, Kole Riccomini, Reece Kettle and Noah Zoppi each hit 3s to take the lead for good.
"We had a defensive breakdown; we talked about strong-side penetration and not leaving the corner," Shasta College coach Kele Fitzhugh said. "It's the execution. They make those 3s down the stretch in second half and we don't. We had plenty of good looks too."
Shasta stayed close, cutting the deficit to a one-possession game six times in the final 5 minutes, the last of which on Thompson's 3 to make it 68-67. Zoppi's layup gave Butte breathing room with 35 seconds left and Eric Spencer made two free throws to put the game out of reach.
Butte shot 12-of-14 from the free throw line in the final 3:16 of the game and finished 16-of-19 from the line in the second half.
Shasta was 21-of-26 from the free throw line but shot 32 percent from the field compared to Butte's 44 percent.
"I hate to lose games like that but it comes down to one team making shots and the other not," Fitzhugh said. "We had the opportunity and fought hard to get to that point but couldn't finish."
Spencer and Zoppi each scored 20 points to lead Butte.
Shasta's Thompson had a team-best 20 points, making all 10 of his free throw attempts. Singh scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds and five steals, Plunkitt pitched in 10 points and five assists for the Knights and Gorden scored six points and had eight rebounds.
Shasta 96, Siskiyous 61
The Knights avenged an earlier loss to Siskiyous by going on the road for a win. Shasta outscored Siskiyous 59-31 in the second half. Thompson scored 21 points and had four assists, Gorden scored 16 points, Jonny Cruz scored 10 points off the bench, Plunkitt scored nine points, had six assists and grabbed five steals and Tanner Bidwell and Singh each scored nine points. Shasta's bench scored 29 points in the game.
Shasta is 5-3 in GVC and 14-12 overall and hosts Lassen College Saturday at 1 p.m. for the final home game.
Team GVC, Overall
Redwoods 6-2, 19-5
Shasta 5-3, 14-12
Butte 4-4, 14-10
Feather River 3-4, 8-15
Siskiyous 3-5, 9-16
Lassen 2-5, 6-15