Falcons fly into finals

By: Mike Ray Gold Country News Service
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LODI — One winning streak was going to end here Wednesday night when Colfax and Capital Christian’s boys basketball teams clashed in a CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. IV basketball semi-final. Fortunately for Colfax, junior guard Chase Mosier helped make sure that it wasn’t the Falcons’. With Mosier providing a lift off the bench which included seven points in the pivotal fourth quarter, the Falcons scratched and clawed their way to a 63-51 win over the Cinderella Cougars, who as they did in their first two rounds of the tournament, didn’t play like your usual No. 13 seed. The win moves the Falcons’ season record to 26-4 and advances top seeded Colfax to Saturday’s 3 p.m. Div. IV championship game at Arco Arena in Sacramento. The Falcons will face No. 3 seed Modesto Christian, which defeated Calaveras in Wednesday’s other semifinal, . Colfax’s trip to Arco marks the seventh time in the past 11 years that the Falcons have reached the CIF title game. However, for three and a half quarters on Wednesday, Colfax’s berth in the finals was in doubt. “I thought we came out a little sluggish and on our heels,” said Mosier, a 6-2 guard who finished the game with 12 points, grabbed five rebounds and helped insert some energy into the Falcons’ attack. “Coach wanted us to attack a little more in the second half and play with more confidence,” Mosier added. “I think we all did that.” Colfax led 13-10 and 24-19 at the first two quarter stops and with Mosier hitting an 18-footer in the third quarter and Austin Oberg and Ryan Salmonson ending the stanza with free tosses, Colfax was still ahead heading into the fourth period, 41-35. Oberg started Colfax out in the fourth quarter with a free throw but Capital used a bucket from Brian Simmons and a trey by Mike Brill to trim the Falcons’ lead to 42-40 with six minutes to play. However, Mosier drained a huge trey on Colfax’s next possession and then after Justin Witt added a turnaround jumper and an ensuing three-ball of his own, Mosier came up with a key steal and converted a three-point play that put Colfax ahead, 56-47 with two minutes to go. Salmonson led Colfax’s balanced attack with 14 points while both Mosier and Witt added 12 apiece. Oberg and Joey Jergo both chipped in with seven more points for the winners who have now won nine straight games. The Falcons finished the game by hitting on 19 of 29 free throws. “Getting to Arco has been a goal of the team’s all season,” Mosier said. “We’re excited about getting Colfax back there.” Capital Christian, which entered the game with a seven-game win streak, was led by Simmons with 12 points and Brill with eight. Capital finishes the season 13-14.