Home court advantage counts for so much, especially in the playoffs.
In a closely fought playoff game that comes down to the wire, a team would much rather have the voices from the stands cheering them on rather than razzing them during free throws. If there is just one last shot to be taken at the end of the game, a player would prefer to shoot on a rim they know and under lighting they are used to.
Basically they call having home court an advantage for a reason.
The last time a Forest Lake Christian boys basketball team held that advantage for a playoff game was in 2010, said head coach Jason Camacho.
That drought ends tonight as the No. 7 seed Falcons welcome the No. 10 seed Bradshaw Christian Pride for round one of Sac-Joaquin Section Division V playoffs.
Having the matchup with Bradshaw Christian (16-9, 9-3 Sierra Delta League) take place on their home court is a considerable advantage, said Camacho.
“It’s very important,” he said. “It’s very crucial that we open at home against a tough team like Bradshaw Christian.”
The Falcons have been stellar at home this season, tallying a 6-1 record in the Forest Lake Christian Gym.
But if FLC (19-7, 9-3 Central Valley California League) wants to continue to protect its home court, it will need to slow Bradshaw Christian’s fabulous freshman, Isaiah Brooks.
The 5-foot, 10-inch point guard leads Bradshaw Christian in scoring (11.4 points per game), assists (2.1 per game) and steals (2.6 per game).
“He has great vision on the court, he can shoot from the outside and runs the fast break really well,” said Camacho.
The Falcons will likely turn to junior point guard Chase Augustino to stymie Brooks’ production.
“Chase has a switch on defense, and in critical situations this season, Chase has turned it on,” Camacho said. “We just need him to keep that switch on.”
Augustino, who leads the team in points with 14.6 per game, is part of a trio of guards that will cause problems for the Pride.
Augustino is joined in the backcourt by senior shooting guard Brandon Camacho and junior guard Luke Jordan.
Brandon Camacho is a multi-tool player who can be a difference-maker if he stays out of foul trouble. On the season, Brandon Camacho averages 13.8 points per game, 4.2 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 4.1 steals.
Jordan scores at a clip of 14.3 per game, grabs 2.1 steals and doles out 2.5 assists.
While the Falcon offense has been outstanding this season, scoring an average of 64.6 points per game, the Pride are equally good on defense.
The Pride allowed 41.4 points per game this season and have allowed an average of just 38.7 per game during their final 12 games.
“They are very aggressive,” Jason Camacho said. “They play that Bay Area, in-your-face, man-on-man-style defense.”
To snatch the opening-round win, Jason Camacho said it will take a team effort.
The Falcons will need a stellar night from their guards, a big game from post players Jesse Poppin and Roman Makovey and strong bench play.
“If our team is poised on offense and makes stops on defense, it should be a good game,” he said.
The Falcons and the Pride tip off at 7 p.m. today at Forest Lake Christian.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.