Falcons take it on chin at Lincoln, 57-46
LINCOLN – The swinging pendulum that is this season’s Pioneer Valley League boys basketball race reached the halfway mark here Friday night.
And with one swift right-left combination delivered on a pair of key three-point baskets in the fourth quarter by Lincoln’s Marcus Salgado, it was the Colfax Falcons’ turn to take it on the chin in what is shaping up to be a battle royal for PVL hoop supremacy.
Sparked by Salgado’s 14 points, the host Zebras - bouncing back from a 23-point drilling by Placer on Wednesday - placed four players in double figure scoring and handed the Falcons a 57-46 loss to treat a raucous winter homecoming night crowd to a win that keeps Lincoln tied atop of the PVL race.
“Give Lincoln all the credit, they showed up to play tonight and deserved to win,” said Colfax coach Mike O’Connell. “They had a good game plan and hit their shots.”
The Falcons, who slipped back in PVL play to a second place tie with Foothill both at 3-2, never got untracked offensively through the night as the Zebras limited Colfax to its lowest point output of the season.
“We couldn’t find our rhythm tonight on offense,” said O’Connell. “We missed some easy shots early but I thought Lincoln played well defensively.”
The Zebras led 11-10 after one quarter and stretched it to 27-21 at halftime behind their balanced attack. The Zebras then enjoyed their biggest lead of the night at the midway point of the third stanza when John Reyes buried a trey that put the hosts ahead, 40-28.
But the Falcons were able to stay within striking distance as the third quarter ended when Will Buell scored on a put back and a pair of free tosses to trim, the Zebras’ margin to 44-36.
The Falcons looked primed for a late rally as a free throw from Wade Lewis, another bucket by Buell and a score from underneath by Matt Larson pulled the Falcons to within 46-41 with 5:30 to go.
But on Lincoln’s next two possessions Salgado delivered the coupe de grace when he drilled a three from the corner at the 5:08 mark and then after a Colfax miss followed with another triple that put the Zebras in command, 52-41.
Following Salgado in the scoring column for the winners were Reyes with 11 points and Alexis Gonzalez and Adam Felt with 10 points each. Logan Stayner contributed six more.
Buell topped Colfax with 23 points while Larson added 10, Jordan Balser seven and Paul Ramseth five.
Colfax, which played four of its first five PVL games on the road, now braces for perhaps its biggest week of the season when they host Foothill (3-2) Wednesday and Placer (4-1) Friday. The Falcons finish with four of their next five at home including Lincoln in the regular season finale on Feb. 12.
“I told the kids after the game to sweep this one under the rug,” said O’Connell. “We’re only thinking about Foothill on Wednesday.”