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Falcons' defensive effort bullies Bruins, 52-35

Sawi, Wolff, Ahrens, Heimann help Colfax push PVL mark to 7-0
By: Mike Ray, Staff Writer
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LAKE OF THE PINES – On a night when its offense was hard to come by, the Colfax Falcons boys basketball team turned to an old staple to stay undefeated in Pioneer Valley League play.

Suffering through some early shooting woes, the Falcons’ more than made up for their offensive misfires with some outstanding play on the defensive end of the court that helped spark Friday’s 52-35 PVL win over host Bear River.

Using a gluey man-to-man defense as their impetus most of the way, the Falcons held the Bruins scoreless in three different four-minute stretches of the game to thwart any chance of the cellar dwelling Bruins from breaking into the PVL win column.

The win for the Falcons moves Colfax’s PVL leading mark to 7-0 and creeps the Falcons within one victory of cinching one of the PVL’s three automatic berths to the CIF Sac-Joaquin section playoffs.

Overall, Colfax is now 18-6, the most wins by a Falcon team since the 2013 squad went 24-7. 

"I though defensively the effort was there from start to finish," said Colfax coach Terry O'Keefe. "Our abilty to control the boards was the big difference in the game." 

For Colfax, its ability to hold Bear River without a point over the last 5:23 of the first half enabled the Falcons to take a 23-13 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Max Wolff and Ryland Heimann came off the bench and joined starter Mason Ahrens to provide the Falcons with the important points in the second stanza. The Colfax trio combined for 13 of Colfax’s 16 second quarter markers.

In the third quarter, Colfax held the Bruins scoreless for the first three and half minutes and with Wolff and Nate Sawi picking up the slack, the Falcons bolted out to a 32-17 advantage.

Colfax enjoyed its biggest lead of the night at the 4:04 mark of the fourth quarter when a put back by Sawi extended the Falcons’ margin to 51-27. From there, Terry O’Keefe cleared the Falcons’ bench.

Sawi, with 12 of his points coming in the second half, led Colfax with 15 points while Wolff added 14 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots. Ahrens chipped in with 10 points while Heimann added seven.

Garren O’Keefe, Colfax’s leading scorer, finished with four points while Christian Evensen and Vic Edwards both added free throws. Meanwhile, Anthony Lundberg was solid for the winners on the defensive end.

Noah Skowronski led Bear River with eight points while Brek Vasquez and Caden Ahlberg each added five apiece. The Bruins fall to 7-13 overall and 0-7 in the PVL.

Colfax JVs 63 Bear River 42 - Mike LaVigne scored 20 points including six treys and Dakota Campos added 19 as Colfax took the JV win. Colfax, which led 26-19 at halftime, also received 11 points from Max Koenig. Caleb Lowry and Jace Rath had 11 points each for Bear River.

Colfax Frosh 45 Bear River 38 – The Falcons made it a clean sweep by taking the forsh opener. Jacob Krakover’s 10 points led the win. Caden Tomlin added nine for the winners while Sam Baldoni scored six.