River Valley’s Puneet Bains drives to the basket during Friday’s game against Woodcreek at the River Valley High gym in Yuba City. 


After a statement win on Wednesday over Roseville, the Falcons’ boys basketball team took to the court on Friday night, hoping to keep up the momentum. Unfortunately for the home team, Woodcreek had other plans, taking down River Valley by a final score of 60-47. 

“We didn’t take away their 3-point shot tonight and that’s really what hurt us,” River Valley head coach David Mullens said. “They made seven in the first half, so I think that was really the difference-maker,” he added. 

With just under four minutes left to go in regulation the Falcons were trying to press on the Timberwolves in hopes to creating some turnovers. But Woodcreek’s Dane Johnson had other plans. The 6-foot-7 center drove to the hoop for an and-1 dunk to put the game away at 56-41 with 3:06 to play. 

“I think we need to trust each other more. When you’re going all out you’re going to get beat sometimes, but being able to know that your teammate is there for you helps,” Mullens said. 

Friday’s game had a slow start for the home team, going down by as much as 14-4 at one point. But with some help from Puneet Bains, the Falcons closed the margin by the end of the first quarter. 

With time expiring in the first period, Bains played iso-ball on his defender and nailed a mid-range jumper to cut the deficit to 16-11 in favor of Woodcreek heading into the second quarter. 

“I think we really need to work on bringing the same energy all game long. If we give it our all from the start it’ll really help our chances,” Bains said. 

Though the Falcons were outscored in the second period, the home team kept the game within striking distance, going down 36-23 heading into halftime. 

In the third quarter, River Valley’s Shawn Newman showcased just how much of an impact player he can be. 

After forcing a turnover, Newman darted down the court with two defenders in front of him. Not phased by the pressure, Newman made what had to be the play of the game – splitting both players for an up-and-over reverse lay in. 

“He’s a playmaker for us, I appreciate the effort he gives on the court and the way he can finish around the rim,” Mullens said. 

Bains led all Falcons with 18 points on Friday, while Newman also helped contribute, finishing with 12 points. Rogelio Solorzano tallied nine points on the night. 

River Valley (7-12, 1-2) will look to bounce back on Thursday at Bella Vista (4-14, 0-2).

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