Falcons Withstand Cosumnes Oaks Rally For 61-48 Win

Colfax Boys Head To CIF Div. IV Playoff Semi-Finals
By: Mike Ray, Gold Country News Services
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COLFAX - If the Colfax Falcons were looking for an opponent to help get them playoff tough for next week’s CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. IV boys basketball semi-final round, they got it here Friday night. Facing a young but game foe in Cosumnes Oaks of the Capital Valley Conference, the Falcons capitalized on some cold shooting from the floor by the visitors to build a 19-point lead at the end of three quarters before withstanding a 27-point fourth period by the Wolf Pack and eventually emerging with a 61-48 second round win. The hard-earned victory by the Falcons raises their season record to 25-4 and advances the top-seeded Colfax squad to Wednesday’s semi-final round at Tokay High in Lodi. Colfax will meet No. 13 seed Capital Christian, a surprising 76-51 upset winner over No. 4 seed Central Catholic on Friday. In addition, Friday’s win also allowed the Falcons to punch their ticket to the CIF NorCal Regional Tournament which will begin March 9. The Falcons will be one of four squads from the Sac-Joaquin Section to advance to the newly expanded regional field. The trip to the regional marks the sixth time in the last 11 years that the Falcons have qualified for the CIF’s state tournament level. In Friday’s game, Colfax shot out to a 14-4 lead after the first quarter as the visitors from the Elk Grove area went though a pair of three and a half minute stretches of the opening stanza without a field goal. Cosumnes Oaks then caught fire a bit in the second quarter with Elijah Lewis slashing to the basket to bring the Wolf Pack back within 17-12 with 4:13 to play. However, Joey Jergo scored six of Colfax’s last eight points of the half including a pretty mid-air follow that just beat the halftime buzzer to give the Falcons a 26-14 lead at the break. The Wolf Pack came out in the second half and picked up their defensive pressure but with Jergo, Justin Witt and Ryan Salmonson helped spark the offense to keep the Falcons in charge. Jergo again was the man on the spot for the Falcons as he beat the buzzer at the end of the third quarter, this time with a trey that left Colfax up, 40-21. However, the fourth quarter wasn’t an easy ride home for the winners. With Clifford Redmon and Demetri Dartis leading the way, the pressing Wolf Pack antics helped whittled Colfax’s led down to 52-43 with 1:35 to play. However, Colfax’s Chase Mosier then buried eight consecutive free throws – part of 11 of 13 by the Falcons in the fourth quarter – to seal the win. “From here on out we’re going to see what we saw tonight,” said Colfax coach Mike O’Connell. “I thought we handled their pressure well and played through the traps. We got some lay-ups and made out free throws in the fourth quarter and that helped close it.” Jergo’s 16 points, 15 from Witt and 12 by Salmonson paced Colfax. The Wolf Pack, which finish 16-13, was led by Lewis with 13 points.