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Will the Thrill leads Colfax to win over Bear River

Buell, Falcons throttle Bear River on the road
By: Matthew Kimel, Journal sports editor
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A dream defensive first half for Colfax turned out to be a nightmare for Bear River. 
Will Buell scored 18 points, connecting from beyond the arc and inside the paint, and the visiting Falcons thumped Bear River 47-34 Wednesday night at Jack McCrory Gym in a Pioneer Valley League game. 
“This is a hard place to get a win,” said Buell, whose team allowed just 10 first-half points while improving to 17-4, 3-1. “It’s really nice to get one.”
Bear River (13-7, 0-4) managed just six points in the first quarter and was held scoreless for most of the second before sinking two late buckets. 
“As far as I know that’s a career low for me,” Bear River coach Duwaine Ganskie said of his team’s point total in the opening 16 minutes. “I don’t know if I’ve ever had a team score just 10 in the first half. It’s hard to watch and it’s frustrating. I feel bad for the kids. I know they’re trying but sometimes we’re just not making good decisions at the right times to get the ball where we need to get it.”
Colfax, at times, such as a six-minute scoring drought bridging the first and second quarters, had trouble scoring too. But the Falcons found enough ways to get the ball to Buell, Matt Larson (13 points) and Taylor Dorsey (nine) to roll past the Bruins. 
Colfax scored just 21 points in the first half, but still had a comfy lead heading into the break. 
“We definitely came on more in the second half,” Buell said. “We all had trouble in the first half shooting but we came back alive in the second.”
Bear River’s Justin Beskeen came alive in the second half as well, pulling off some flashy maneuvers on a dunk and drives to the hole while finishing off the night with 16 points.
But Colfax was able to keep the Bruins’ star in check throughout the first half. 
“Our defensive focus was really solid,” said Colfax coach Mike O’Connell. “Obviously we were trying to limit the Beskeen touches and inside touches. We had good team focus on defense.”
Following Beskeen on the score sheet for Bear River were Nick Bachus (five points), Braden Duncan (four) and Travis Anderson (four). 
“They were very physical and did a good job of taking us out of our offense,” Ganskie said of the Falcons, while adding that his team is better than what they’re showing. 
Ganskie hopes to get his team’s scoring production going before Friday’s home PVL match against Center.
Colfax heads to Lincoln (16-5, 3-1) for a 7 p.m. showdown in what figures to be a pivotal contest in the league race.
“We’ve got to get that next win,” Buell said. “Hopefully we can go 4-1 in the first half of the season. That’s something to be really proud about. But so far I’m happy with how we’re playing.”
 
Reach Matthew Kimel at matthewk@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @matthewkimel