For the second straight day at the 71st Annual Kendall Arnett Tournament, the Bear River basketball team held a halftime lead, and for the second straight day, it left with a loss.
In a non-league matchup of Pioneer Valley League rivals Friday, Bear River (10-3) couldn’t hold on to a four-point halftime edge, falling to Colfax (12-4) in the second round of the tournament, 67-53.
“We have to be better prepared to handle pressure situations,” Bear River head coach Duwaine Ganskie said. “We need to know how to finish games. Two days in a row we haven’t had good third quarters. We gave up shots a little too easy, and we just stopped scoring.”
After taking a 31-27 halftime lead behind balanced scoring and staunch defense, the Bruins hibernated in the third quarter as the Falcons took flight.
Colfax outscored Bear River 25-10 in the third quarter and never let the Bruins back within seven points after that as the Falcons took the first of three meetings this season between the two teams.
Colfax’ size in the end was too much for the smaller Bruins. The Falcons had four players score in double figures, three of whom stand 6 feet, 3 inches or taller. Six-foot, 7-inch Will Buell led the Falcons with 17 points, 6-foot, 6-inch Matt Larson added 14, 6-foot, 3-inch David Campbell added 11, and Taylor Dorsey scored 13.
“I think they wore us down,” Ganskie said. “I think we fatigued. I only played seven guys. That’s the thing about size. They say, ‘Eventually it will wear you down,’ and I think it did.”
Colfax out rebounded Bear River 22-13 and won the turnover battle 16-12.
For the Bruins, it was Travis Anderson leading the offensive charge with 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Justin Beskeen was hassled all day by double teams and collapsing defenses but still managed 15 points to go with seven rebounds and four assists.
Through two games at the Kendall Arnett Tournament, Beskeen is averaging 23.5 points per game and 9.5 rebounds.
The Bruins, coming off Thursday’s game in which they hit zero 3-pointers, found some range with Tyler Hajewski, who sank a pair of triples and scored 10 on the day.
Michael Raigoza continued his strong season as a do-it-all scrappy player. The senior guard had six points, three steals and two assists in the loss.
Despite back-to-back losses after a 10-1 start, Ganskie said his team is still a formidable one, and it just needs to make a few adjustments.
“We’re fine,” he said. “We just need to get a couple of other guys chipping in and some more production from the bench.”
The Bruins will look to nab a win in their last tournament matchup Saturday when they face the loser of the Union Mine vs. San Juan matchup.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call (530) 477-4232 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.