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Colfax boys basketball team looking to write a new chapter

By: Mike Ray / Gold Country News Service
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As far as wins and losses go, Colfax High boys basketball coach Mike O’Connell and his Falcons would probably like to put last season behind them. In a reprisal from the proud boys hoops tradition at Colfax, the 2011-12 Falcons went 10-17, won only one league game and for the first time since 1990 didn’t reach the CIF playoffs.
But if there was light at the end of the tunnel from last year’s effort by the Falcons, it’s that O’Connell welcomes back to this year’s fold nine seniors who logged a load of minutes a year ago. Of those returnees, there are six players who started at one time or another last season.
“There’s no substitute for experience and we have players who have game experience,” said O’Connell, who after a long coaching career at Lincoln,  begins his fourth season at Colfax with a record of 59-33.
Besides the returning experience that O’Connell noted, this may be one of the tallest teams that Colfax has floored in recent memory.
Retuning seniors Will Buell (6-foot-7), Matt Larson (6-6) and Wade Lewis (6-6) will be joined by juniors Kevin Zachman (6-5) and Cole Joyce (6-4) to give the Falcons a decided height advantage against most foes.
“We have some length,” O’Connell said. “But with us it’s being able to do the little things like, just because we’re tall, let’s not forget to block out.”
Buell, who was an all-Pioneer Valley League pick last year, and Larson are Colfax’s top two returning scorers. They’ll be joined by Taylor Dorsey, Paul Ramseth, Ryan Glazner and Devon Loomis — all seniors — in forming a solid playing rotation for the Falcons this season.
Two more seniors Trevor Cobabe (6-4) and Jack Rogers will add extra depth.
O’Connell also welcomes a strong core of junior players, who last season helped win a PVL JV championship. They include Joyce and Zachman, 6-1 point guard Jordan Balser, 6-2 swing player Dave Campbell and guards Michael Wilson and Christopher Harshman.
“We have a good mix of seniors and juniors this season,” O’Connell said. “They worked hard in the summer and have carried it over into this season.”
Once again the Falcons will play a challenging preseason that includes games against River Valley, Div. I foe Amador Valley of Pleasanton at the Gold Dust Tournament, the Davis Tournament, and Div. IV challenges at Pacific Grove and Union Mine.
As far as PVL play goes, O’Connell sees a wide open race.
“Everyone in the league should be improved,” the Colfax coach said. “Foothill and Center look to be good but don’t count out Placer, Bear River or Lincoln.”