Falcons Push Past Bruins In 2nd Half, 67-53
Given their druthers, you can bet that Colfax High boys coach Mike O’Connell and Bear River coach Duwaine Ganskie would have rather been somewhere else than having their teams bang on each other in Friday’s 3:30 p.m. matinee special in the consolation bracket of the 71st Kendall Arnett basketball tournament.
“I think both Duwaine and I would have rather been playing later tonight but what can you do,” said O’Connell after his Falcons rallied from a four-point halftime deficit to churn out a 67-53 win over their fellow Pioneer Valley League foes.
The Falcons and Bruins found themselves opposite each other Friday after both PVL squads dropped respective tough first round Arnett games to Del Campo and Woodcreek. In less than a month, they’ll meet again in what will be the first of two meetings in an expected dog-eat-dog PVL race.
“I thought Colfax wore us down a bit in the second half,” said Ganskie after his Bruins led for most of the first half before falling to a Falcon surge over the last two quarters. “Colfax is a little deeper than us right now and they were able to do a good job today in the second half.”
Down 31-27 at the intermission, Colfax followed steady play in the third stanza from Taylor Dorsey, Paul Ramseth, Dave Campbell, Will Buell and Matt Larson that helped lead to a big 25-point third quarter for the Falcons.
“We went to full court pressure to try and get some energy going,” said O’Connell about his team’s big 25-10 third quarter exchange. “We were playing a little passive up to that point.”
Colfax, now 12-3 on the season and just three wins away from becoming playoff eligible, limited Bear River scoring ace Justin Beskeen to just eight first half points but the Bruins received good efforts from Travis Anderson, Nick Bachus and Tyler Hajewski to go into the break ahead.
However, after Anderson scored to give the Bruins a 33-30 advantage a minute into the second half, the Falcons took the lead for good on back-to-back buckets from Ramseth.
The Bruins kept things close as they were down just 44-41 after a three-point play by Beskeen and two free tosses by Anderson at the 2:27 mark of the third quarter but Colfax’s Campbell and Larson split the stanza’s last eight points to give Colfax a 52-41 margin going into the final period.
In the fourth quarter, a trey and lay-in from Dorsey and another on a put-back by Buell gave Colfax its biggest margin of the game, 59-43, with five and a half minutes to play.
But Bear River had one final surge left as two buckets by Anderson, another from Beskeen and a lay-in by Hajewski pulled the Bruins within 59-51 at the 3:52 mark.
However, the Falcons restored order when Buell put in an offensive rebound, Jordan Balser drilled a 15-footer and Campbell hit again from outside for a 65-53 lead with 1:30 left.
Buell led the Falcons on offense with 17 points along with grabbing seven rebounds. Larson followed with 14 points and eight boards while Dorsey tallied 11 of his 13 points in the second half. Campbell, meanwhile, supplied punch off the bench with 11 more points.
Anderson led Bear River (10-3) with 17 points while Beskeen scored 15 and Hajewski tallied 10.
Colfax was set to play Union Mine on Saturday at 5 p.m. for the consolation trophy while Bear River and San Juan will meet in the 7th place game at 3:30 p.m.