Falcons tame Zebras to cinch share of PVL boys hoop crown

Big second half pushes Colfax past Lincoln, 68-53; can wrap up outright title Friday
By: Mike Ray, Staff Writer
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COLFAX - A charter member of the Pioneer Valley League since its inception in 2002, over the past 16 years the Colfax Falcons, in a variety of sports, have won more than their share of PVL championship pennants.

But one may have to go back and dig through the PVL archives to find a Colfax league title that came along perhaps more surprising than what transpired at Pucci Pavilion Thursday night.

In one of the more improbable league championships  won by a Falcons athletic squad, the Colfax boys basketball team, trailing by five points at halftime, outscored Lincoln, 16-4 to start the second half and never looked back on their way to registering a 68-53 win over the Zebras.

The victory for Colfax raises the Falcons’ PVL record to 8-0 and cinches the Green and White a share of its first PVL boys hoop championship since 2013. Two games up with two to play, the Falcons can wrap up the outright league title with a win at home Friday night against Foothill.

For Colfax, which was picked anywhere from third to last in the PVL pre-season polls, the piece of the league title was satisfying especially the way it was accomplished.

“It was a great team win for us tonight.” said Colfax coach Terry O’Keefe whose team won its seventh straight game and improved to 19-6 overall on the season. “The point distribution was outstanding and we had different players step up at different moments when we needed it.”

Colfax had a slew of heroes Wednesday as the Falcons landed four different players in double figure scoring.

Max Wolff, Colfax’s 6-8 junior center, came off the bench and provided the Falcons with key minutes as he bucketed a game high 16 points including eight in the pivotal third quarter when the Falcons outscored the Zebras by a decisive 22-10 margin.

Garren O’Keefe also had a big bounce back game for the winners with 14 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. Nate Sawi and Mason Ahrens were also big with 12 points apiece.

After Lincoln connected on six first half threes on its way to grabbing a 29-24 halftime lead, the Falcons made some adjustments at halftime that limited the Zebras to just one trey after intermission.

“I thought Mason (Ahrens) did a super job on Summerhays (Preston),” said O’Keefe about his senior guard holding Lincoln’s scoring leader to just seven points on the evening. “We had more focus in the second half and also got the ball inside more.”

Also playing well for Colfax were senior guard Vic Edwards and junior forward Jake Green. Edwards handled the Zebras’ pressure most of the night and contributed five key fourth quarter markers while Green buried three second half treys to take the pressure off of Lincoln’s sagging man to man defense.

Lincoln, which falls to 4-4 in league play and 18-7 overall, was led by Angelo Nicandro, Chris Rodriguez and Connor Maley, all with eight points each.