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Sutter's season ended by Lassen in section quarterfinals
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When Sutter High's girls basketball team rallied back from a early 17-point deficit and made it a two-point game at the half, it looked as if the worst was behind them.
Although the Huskies were thoroughly outplayed by Lassen in the first period, a 13-0 run to start the second and some physical play underneath the basket allowed Sutter to battle back and take the momentum into the locker room.
Then the second half began and things quickly went south.
Lassen went on to completely dominate the action after the break by outscoring the Huskies 47-19 in the second half and cruised home with an easy 76-46 victory in the second round of the Northern Section Division IV playoffs Thursday night in Sutter.
It was a rough-and-tumble game that saw members from both teams hit the floor numerous times; however, in the end the No. 3-seeded Huskies couldn't overcome the Grizzlies' team speed and defensive pressure.
"They were a quick team, the likes of which we didn't see that much this season," Sutter coach Dustin Ford said. "They were physical, too, but we matched that for the most part. We just didn't have any answers in the second half."
Lassen (14-13) jumped on the Huskies from the start and built a 25-8 lead early in the second period before Sutter finally got on track. Sophomore post player Erika Larsen did her part by scoring nine points in the second period.
Sutter (17-10) went into the half trailing 29-27, but the Grizzlies used a 16-2 spurt to break the game open in the third and never looked back. Sutter made just 1 of 12 shots from the field and turned the ball over 11 times in the pivotal period and the game quickly turned into a rout.
"We let our emotions get the best of us in the second period, but we came out in the third really composed and kept our heads in it," Lassen coach Kevin Jones said. "Transition was the biggest key for us tonight. When you can get the ball from one end of the court to the other without dribbling it's pretty fun to watch."
Despite the loss, Sutter did receive a solid performance from Larsen, who scored a team-high 20 points while pulling down 20 rebounds. Point guard Courtney Gravel chipped in with 16 points for the Huskies, although she had to work for after being double- and triple-teamed all night long.
"We knew we had to stop Gravel and Larsen," Jones said. "I thought we did a good job defending them, although we could've done a better job against Larsen in the middle."
Haylee Shaffer had 20 points and five steals and Sierra Hicks dropped in 15 points to lead the way for the No. 6-seeded Grizzlies, who will face the winner of No. 2 Orland and No. 10 Yreka in the section semifinals on Tuesday.
"They were a tough team," Ford said. "Their record may not have been that great, but they play in a league with much bigger schools and they held their own with them."