Champions at last

Mosier beats the buzzer, sends Colfax to its first Kendall Arnett title
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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Chase Mosier won the rock-paper-scissors with Austin Oberg for the final shot, then made history for the Colfax High basketball program Thursday night. Mosier nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to push the Falcons past San Juan 46-43 and give Colfax its first Kendall Arnett Tournament title. “Chase and I did rock-paper-scissors to see who would take it and I’m glad he won,” said Oberg, who scored 14 big points of his own in a game that was a tight, defensive battle. “I was running under the basket and I knew when it left his hand it was going in. Chase was struggling a little bit with his shot, but I have faith in him.” Mosier’s performance didn’t measure up to the previous two days at Earl Crabbe Gym, when he scored a combined 58 points. But the 6-3 senior scored a game-high 17 and was the obvious choice for Tournament MVP. The Spartans put up a gutsy challenge in their third Kendall Arnett title game in four years. Sharp-shooting guard Alonzo Rainey hit four 3-pointers and scored on a drive to the hoop to tie the game with eight seconds left. Colfax then called a timeout to set up the final play. Mosier got the ball in the backcourt and sprinted up the court to the right wing. He had a hand in his face, but leaned in and got the shot to go. “We ran a high screen for him and we had botched that same play earlier, but Chase really redeemed himself,” Colfax coach Mike O’Connell said. “He’s a scorer. He’s a gamer. This is a big moment for our program, for our community.” O’Connell took particular delight in the win. He played on Colfax’s 1975-76 squad, which suffered a 64-61 loss to Del Oro in the Kendall Arnett championship game. The Falcons have had some cruel fate in many games at the historic tourney since, even with teams that went on to win section crowns. Dozens of former Colfax players were on hand to congratulate the 2010-11 team after the wild finish. “These kids got to be a part of something really special tonight,” O’Connell said. Both teams struggled offensively under the title-game pressure. The Falcons turned to their defense, which held San Juan to just one field goal in the second quarter as they jumped out to a 19-12 advantage at the half. Oberg had a buzzer-beater of his own, hitting a 3-pointer at the halftime horn. The Spartans rallied in the third quarter, using an 11-0 lead to grab a 30-26 lead heading into the fourth quarter. With Colfax trailing by a point, Mosier converted a three-point play with 1 minute, 12 seconds left to give the Falcons the lead. Senior Ben Buell joined Oberg on the all-tournament team.