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Cougars dethrone Falcons

Del Campo's quickness overcomes Colfax's size
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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Colfax High had the stature, but Del Campo had the fleet feet Wednesday night at the Kendall Arnett Tournament at Earl Crabbe Gym. That spelled a short-lived title defense for the Falcons. The reigning tournament champions could not overcome the Cougars’ barrage of speed and athleticism. Del Campo fought off a determined Falcon comeback for a 71-63 victory. “We knew they were a well-coached team and we had to weather the storm in the second half,” Del Campo coach Dave Nobis said. “We answered with some big shots and we were able to get some big steals there at the end. But (Colfax) is a good, young team. They’re going to be tough to deal with at the end of the season.” Del Campo cashed in on two early turnovers by Colfax and jumped out to a 7-2 lead before the Falcon faithful could settle in. The Falcons never fully recovered from the early blitz, though coach Mike O’Connell’s team showed tenacity in the second half. Colfax trailed 40-27 at the half and the Cougars pushed the lead to 15 points in the third. Colfax junior Will Buell fueled the rally, scoring 11 of his game-high 19 points in the third quarter to keep the Falcons in the game. Junior Devon Loomis drilled a 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter to bring Colfax to within seven points and it was a six-point game midway through the fourth. But Del Campo senior Johnny Hayes came up with a couple of key baskets late in the game to keep the Falcons at bay. “They’re a very good team,” O’Connell said. “We knew what they were going to run, but they shot the ball pretty well and they’re 10-2 for a good reason. We got back within six there in the fourth and had a couple of turnovers that hurt us. We worked hard. We could have folded the tent there in the first half, but I was proud of the way they played in the second half.” Matt Larsen scored 18 points for Colfax, which enjoyed a major rebounding edge along with its offensive dominance in the paint. But Del Campo countered with nine players in the scorebook. Hayes led the way with 14 points. Senior wing Davit Saghateylan scored 12 points and had three steals while Kyle Bakkie scored 10. Nobis said his team’s depth is its signature. “We play 10 kids every night,” he said. “As much pressure as we put on, we have to be deep.” Colfax (7-5) will take on Pioneer Valley League rival Bear River in an intriguing second-round matchup today at 3:30 p.m.