Falcon varsity boys take No. 3 seed

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Coming off back-to-back losses, the Colfax High boys basketball team was looking for the right ingredients Friday at Lincoln to get back on the win trail, and more importantly, help the Falcons hang on to their No. 3 spot in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section’s playoff seeding. But battling a Zebras team looking to pull a season ending upset, Colfax appeared for three quarters to be headed down the wrong track as the hosts took advantage of some cold Falcons shooting to take a 33-29 lead going into the fourth quarter. “We didn’t shoot the ball well all night,” said Colfax coach Mike O’Connell. “We were fortunate to finally get going in the last quarter and we hit a good percentage of our foul shots.” The late Colfax surge, a 26-point fourth quarter in all, helped the Falcons rally for the eventual 55-47 win. The victory moved Colfax’s final Pioneer Valley League record to 6-4 on the season good enough for third place behind league champion Center (10-0) and second place Foothill (7-3). Colfax also upped its overall season record to 18-9 and eagerly awaited the opening of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section’s boys Div. IV playoffs which opened last night with the Falcons hosting Encina Prep. While Chase Mosier and Austin Oberg combined for 16 of Colfax’s points in the come from behind fourth quarter, the Falcons also received added punch in the final eight minutes from Elliott Forsman and Luke Beninga who each tallied four markers in the rally. Mosier ended the evening with 18 points while Oberg finished with 16 more. Ben Buell collected eight points while Austin Brown netted five and Forsman and Beninga each added their four. In last night’s playoff opener against Encina Prep, the Falcons may have caught an opening round break because the Bulldogs were expected to have a shortened roster after several players left the bench area in a fracas that broke out last week in a game against Highlands. Due to CIF regulations, any players leaving the bench in an incident like the one at Highlands, must sit out the next contest. If the Falcons were able to weather their opening round tilt, an interesting second round contest with the winner of Wednesday’s Mariposa-Ripon game could be in the works for Friday also in Falcon Gym. Mariposa, a No. 11 seed poses problems inside with 6-7 200-pound pivot Drake Long while Ripon, a No. 6 seed which has four sophomores in its eight-player rotation, holds a pair of wins over Escalon this season and played two very competitive games with Modesto Christian, falling 76-62 and 67-57 two weeks ago. Whichever team survives the opening two rounds will earn a berth in next week’s semi-final round slated for Wednesday at Tokay High in Lodi. Game times for the semi-finals will be announced by the CIF office this weekend.