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Pierce boys’ basketball downs Colusa with big second half

Colusa’s Sal Silva tries to drive against Pierce’s Eduardo Paiz in a game on May 21. The Bears prevailed by a score of 59-47 behind Paiz’s 23 points. (Submitted photo/Jennifer Corriea)

With one of the largest crowds so far this year assembled inside the Natalie Corona Gymnasium, the hometown Bears boys basketball team overcame a slow start with a strong-in-the-third quarter where they outscored the RedHawks 23-7.

The Bears then held on in the final period to claim the 59-47 win over their county rival.

Pierce, who spotted Colusa a 16-12 first quarter lead, began the game by rushing their offense and forcing shots, in contrast to the RedHawks who found an early rhythm.

Yet, as the first half wore on, the Bears’ size began to pay off, they dominated on the boards and took advantage of multiple shot opportunities.

Still, the RedHawks were not going away, as Ethan Lay gave Colusa a 26-24 lead after hitting a three with just under a minute remaining in the first half.

It would be short-lived, however, as Eduardo Paiz answered with a three-of-his-own to give the Bears a 27-26 edge at intermission.

Paiz stayed hot in the second half, scoring 16 of his game-high 23 points, which included four from beyond the arc.

Although Pierce lapsed into some sloppy play in the final quarter, they still were able to hold off the RedHawks, who played hard until the final horn.

Justin Mathews tallied 11 points for the Bears, while Christian Mata and Luke Voorhees pitched in with eight and seven points, respectively.

With the victory, Pierce gave Jonah McInnis, the Bears’ second year JV coach, his first varsity win after he stepped in for head coach Cody McCullough, who was out of town.

Lay led Colusa with 14 points and Nick Price dropped in 12, while seniors Sal Silva and Mason Saso closed out their high school careers with eight and seven points in turn.

Pierce (6-3) was in Anderson on Wednesday to play the Cubs, and hosts Cosumnes Oaks tonight in its final game of the year.

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