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Falcons muscle back to final

Colfax displays depth, versatility in battling past stout Summerville
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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LODI — The Falcons of Colfax High were far from high-flying Wednesday night in their Sac-Joaquin Section semifinal showdown with Summerville. But they proved they could grind out ugly victories when necessary. Colfax is headed to Saturday’s Division IV championship game after a 48-42 victory at Tokay High. The Falcons will face No. 4 Amador, which stunned Modesto Christian 56-54 Wednesday night. The Crusaders had won 11 straight section titles. As leading scorer Chase Mosier was blanketed in the second half Wednesday, Colfax displayed several other weapons to pull away. Seniors Robert O’Connell, Austin Oberg, Austin Brown, Elliot Forsman and Ben Buell all had a hand in the victory. “We’re not a one-dimensional team,” Colfax coach Mike O’Connell said. “In the second half I told them we had to drive to the basket more and we had to grind on them. They were big, but we went to that zone defense and disrupted them a little bit.” The Falcons (21-9) came out of the locker room fired up, stretching their one-point lead to an eight-point bulge by midway through the third quarter. But Summerville senior Tige Wingo refused to let his team go quietly. The 6-5, 225-pound forward scored all 10 of his team’s points in the third to rally the Bears back to within one heading into the fourth. Oberg swished a wide-open 3-pointer at the 3:25 mark in the final stanza to give Colfax a 42-36 lead. The senior added a pair of free throws and finished with 10 points. Brown provided the final two points from the free throw line in the final seconds to set off the Falcons’ celebration. Mosier scored 13 of his 15 points in the first half. He grabbed eight rebounds and had three steals. Buell battled Summerville’s stout front line for nine rebounds to go with 10 points. “They were huge,” Buell said of the Bears. “They were bigger than us, but we were a little quicker, so we could get around them. The key was just blocking out. We did a good job in the second half.” The Falcons’ fast break was absent as they focused on keeping the Bears off the offensive glass. But with Oberg, Brown, Forsman and Mosier taking care of the ball, Colfax’s half court sets were just good enough to take down Summerville, which was the No. 2 seed. Wingo finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds to pace the Bears. The Falcons are headed back to the section final at Power Balance Pavilion on Saturday. They lost to Modesto Christian in the title game last season. The return trip seemed unlikely when the season started as Colfax graduated all but one starter from last year’s team. “You have to believe in yourself and we did,” Buell said. “This is it. It’s great to finally get here.”