March 1984: A St. Patrick's to remember

By: Mike Ray, Colfax Record Sports Editor
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It’s funny how when St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday – as it does this year. I can tell you exactly where I was on March 17, 1984. Twenty-eight years ago this Saturday, I joined what was estimated to be at least 2,000 other Colfax High girls basketball followers and faithful who filled one side of the Oakland Coliseum to see if the “Falconettes” – as they were known then – could bring home a second consecutive CIF State Girls Div. III basketball championship. Saying that Woodlake of the Central Section, Colfax’s opponent that Saturday morning in Oakland, was a heavy underdog would have been a mild understatement. The Falconettes, with three starters back and six of their first eight from the 1983 CIF State championship team, entered the title bout in ’84 with a record of 25-2. In the ’84 post season, the Colfax girls were even more dominant as only one Colfax playoff game that year had been decided by less than 20 points. Colfax basically turned the 1984 playoffs into their own play yard as in six post season games, Colfax averaged 63 points a game while allowing its opposition just 34. The average margin of victory – 28.9 points a game – is an eye opener of a statistic when you consider it was done against league and section champions. After drawing a first round bye in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, the Falconettes began their march to the state title by destroying a highly touted Justin-Siena of Napa team, 81-46. In its closest game of the post season, Colfax overcame a bundle of foul trouble to defeat Linden, 54-38, in the semi-finals before rolling past league rival Golden Sierra, 60-32, at Tokay High in the finals. The section title then sent Colfax to Yuba College for the first round of the NorCal Regional and the Lady Falcons kept rolling by destroying North Section champion Trinity of Weaverville, 60-21. Remarkably, the Falconettes then found Justin-Siena of Napa, which was awarded an at-large berth into the NorCals, awaiting the Lady Falcons in the NorCal title game at Oakland. Could the Lady Falcons handle the Braves again? No problem. With Sue Mead and Lydia Kranz scoring 21 points each, the final: Colfax 58 Justin-Siena 28. That set the stage for the state title game the following Saturday again in Oakland. Following Colfax’s eventual 65-43 win over Woodlake, Colfax coach John Alba, who would never coach again at CHS, noted: “Last year was nice but this one was so much more rewarding. We were expected to win and that put a tremendous amount of pressure on the girls. … They worked hard though, they’re all champions.” The championship game win capped a season-ending 19-game winning streak for the Lady Falcons who were 26-2 on the season and also named Cal-Hi Sports’ No. 1 ranked Div. IV school. Following the game, Colfax fans en-mass took over Spenger’s Fish Grotto in Berkeley to celebrate the second straight state championship – and what else – St. Patrick’s Day.