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Lady Falcons complete strong summer hoop run

Pressing, up tempo play keys Novato Summer Classic title
By: Mike Ray, Staff Writer
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COLFAX - After losing a 6-2 scholarship post player and their leading three-point shooter to graduation, one might think that the Colfax High Lady Falcons’ girls basketball program may be in a rebuilding mode for the upcoming 2018-19 season.

But with three returning starters back in the fold, and five of last season’s first eight players also back, opponents this summer found out that the Colfax girls still indeed have  plenty of spunk left in their tank

“We’re learning to play small”, said Colfax coach Rich Simpton about the new version of his hoop team. “A lot of full court man pressing, up tempo and tenacious defense. It was a fun summer.”

Following last season in which the Lady Falcons went 26-5 and captured the school’s first CIF section championship since 2004, Colfax bid farewell to 6-2 pivot Caleigh McClenahan, who earned a scholarship to Dickinson State in South Dakota, and leading three point shooter Annaliese Ballowe.

But in action this summer the Lady Falcons haven’t missed a beat.

Colfax went 4-2  in the recent Whitney Tournament losing only to the highly-touted host Wildcats and St. Francis of Sacramento in a close gamea. The team also went a commendable 4-2 in the 2A division of the San Diego Summer Classic that featured 96 teams.

Last weekend in the Bay Area, Colfax posted a perfect 6-0 record to win the Gold Bracket of the Novato Summer Slam. Overall this summer the Lady Falcons were 21-7.

“We played some good teams this summer,” said Simpton. “We split with St. Francis and another rloss came to Cardinal Newman, an open division playoff team.”

On their way to the Novato title, the Lady Falcons defeated Terra Linda, 48-23 and  Novato, 54-12 in pool play. In bracket play, Colfax then turned back El Molino, 32-23 and  Analy, 46-28 before stopping Div. I foe Freedom of Oakley, 476-26, in the semi-finals and Div. I American of Fremont, 44-33 in the finals.

Colfax’s Grace Bliss was tagged as the tournament’s MVP while Natalie Lundberg, Aliya McCord, Jazzy owens and Emily Cerna all earned all-tournament honors.