Home teams scoring

Sports Chatter
By: Mike Ray
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Over the years if there’s one thing that hasn’t changed in high school basketball it’s the good old home-court advantage. It’s been said — and scientifically proven — that knowing every nook and cranny on your home court can give hosts an advantage over their visitors. Thus far in the Pioneer Valley League boys race, the old sports adage is holding up, somewhat. As of last Friday’s games, the home team owned a 7-5 record over its visiting opponents. Colfax’s Falcons are now in their seventh full season playing in its new gymnasium and over that period of time — both boys and girls — have put together a rather impressive home court showings. For CHS hoop history buffs, two games involving home court shenanigans with the Falcons come to mind. In 1992, Colfax’s Lady Falcons behind players such as Kellie Kuelper, Michelle Cornell, Missy Stocks, Amber Steele and Lisa Clark had a tremendous season winning the Golden Empire League title and then going on and capturing the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section crown over Justin-Siena of Napa. After defeating Notre Dame of Salinas in the first round of the NorCals at home in the now small gym at Colfax High, the Lady Falcons were set to host Ursuline of Santa Rosa team in an expected high-powered semi-final. However, then Colfax High officials received a call from the CIF saying that if Colfax wanted to host the semi-final, that the Lady Falcons would have to find a gym which sat more fans than Colfax’s 600-seat band box of a gymnasium. Presto, the game was moved to the Earl Crabbe Gym at Placer and despite having the “home court advantage” with a large throng of vocal fans showing their support, the Lady Falcons were felled in overtime by Ursuline, completing a 31-3 season. If there’s one thing that former Colfax High girls coach Jim Ryan sometimes wonders out loud other than if his putting stroke has gone bad, it’s what possibly might have been if the Lady Falcons had got the chance to play the Ursuline game at home. Another interesting home court issue for Colfax arose in 2003 when Wade Wolff’s boys team and Dan Hicks’ Lady Falcons girls squad both captured CIF section crowns and both earned berths to play host to first round NorCal Regional games. While Colfax’s new gym had been completed and was just getting small issues fine-tuned by construction workers, the two Falcon teams had opted to play out their regular and playoff seasons in school’s old gym. However, with a chance to host a regional girls-boys doubleheader, the CIF once again informed the Falcons, find a bigger gym or we’ll find one for you. This time it was just a matter of the Falcons and Lady Falcons walking across campus and with just one day of practice in the new facility the Colfax girls defeated Wheatland and the boys slipped past Monte Vista Christian. The Falcons new motto was “There’s no place like home.”