Bear River dominates Colfax
If any of Bear River’s prospective playoff opponents had scouts seated inside Jack McCrory Gymnasium Thursday night, chances are the reports filed on the Bruins this morning had more questions than answers for opposing coaches.
The scouting report might read as follows: “Nos. 3 and 20 (Karli Kephart and Julie Fry, respectively), their senior captains, do it all. They can drive to the bucket. They can dish off to a teammate. They can deliver from the deep. What do we do?”
One thing you don’t do is go to a zone, especially if it gives Bear River’s Lauren Juric any kind of a good look. Colfax’s 1-3-1 zone left Juric all alone in the left corner early and often. And, relishing the role, the 6-foot, 1-inch sophomore stole the show on Bear River’s Senior Night, shooting lights out to lead the Bruins to a 62-35 rout of rival Colfax.
The win was the 36th straight in Pioneer Valley League play for the Bruins (22-4, 12-0), who wrapped up their third consecutive unbeaten season in league action.
“You know someone was quoted in The Union, saying that the days of going unbeaten in the Pioneer Valley League were over,” said Bear River head coach Jeff Bickmore, referring to The Union’s season preview edition, quoting an un-named opposing PVL coach. “I don’t know who that was, but it looks like they were wrong.”
Juric hit five straight 3-pointers midway through the first half, all from the same spot. Her sharp shooting pushed Bear River’s lead from 13-6 to 28-12 in a matter of five minutes.
“We were practicing them because we knew they were going to play zone,” said Juric, who also grabbed six rebounds in the win. “I was surprised. I thought they would come out on me, but they didn’t. So, I kept shooting.”
And, she got the green light from the Bruin bench.
“She’s probably our best three-point shooter,” said Bear River head coach Jeff Bickmore. “Well, if you leave her wide open. She’s not going to create (a three-point) shot like Karli or Julie, but you can’t let her spot up. She’s too good of a shooter.”
And when it’s the other team’s post player pounding away from long range, what was Dan Hicks and his Colfax Falcons (18-9, 9-3) to do?
The sophomore didn’t hold the spotlight all night, however. The Bruin seniors, especially the two captains, also celebrated their final regular season game in style. Fry, the Bruins’ leading scorer, shared game-high scoring honors with Juric’s 21 points and grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds. Kephart, who got things going with a pair of first-quarter three-pointers, finished with 12 points and six assists.
Fry, Juric and Kephart combined for 54 Ð or 87 percent – of Bear River’s 62-point total.
Colfax, which committed 25 turnovers and converted just 11 of 45 field goals (24 percent), was led by junior forward Michelle Cassilagio’s 14 points and game-high 12 rebounds. Classmate Channon Slevin had nine points, while senior Mindy Harris and junior Rachel Scalzo each scored five points for the Falcons.
The game was not nearly as competitive as the first meeting between the Bruins and Falcons. Bear River won that Jan. 25 battle at Colfax 43-41, in a game that legitimately threatened the Bruins’ PVL win streak for the first time.
But not this time.
“We shot the ball well,” Bickmore said. “Karli Kephart was at least 0-for-13 on three-pointers the first time we played them. We made adjustments against the zone in practice this week and we were totally prepared for it. I thought that really showed tonight.”
Told the Bruins hit 14 three-pointers against eight field goals inside the arc, Bickmore said matter-of-factly:
“If that’s what they give you … that’s what you take.”
PIONEER VALLEY LEAGUE
Colfax (18-9, 9-3) 6 13 5 11 – 35
Bear River (22-4, 12-0) 16 19 11 16 – 62
Channon Slevin 3 3-6 9, Courtney Harrison 1 0-2 2, Mindy Harris 1 3-5 5, Michelle Cassilagio 5 4-6 14, Karen Denzler 0 0-0 0, Rachel Scalzo 1 3-4 5, Amy Filipowski 0 0-0 0, Rebecca Pugh 0 0-0 0, Megan Spears 0 0-0 0, Daily Kitzman. Totals: 11 13-23 35.
BEAR RIVER (62)
Karli Kephart 4 1-1 12, Chandre Uno 0 0-0 0, Kristin Landre 0 0-0 0, Julie Fry 8 1-2 21, Lauren Juric 7 2-2 21, Cori Eden 1 0-0 3, Rachel Harter 1 0-0 3, Brenna Weeks 0 0-0 0, Colleen Noud 1 0-0 2, Kacie Fredrickson 0 0-0 0, Kaitlyn Spence 0 0-0 0. Totals: 22 4-5 62.
Three-point shooting: Colfax 0-8; Bear River 14-39 (Kephart 3-12, Fry 4-7, Juric 5-9, Eden 1-3, Harter 1-1).
Rebounds: Colfax 30 (Cassilagio 12, Slevin 4, Filipowski 4); Bear River 36 (Fry 11, Juric 6, Landre 6, Weeks 6).
Turnovers: Colfax 25, Bear River: 14
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Golfers Jackie Hill and Bonnie Marvelli teamed up to take top honors in the 2021 Partners Best Ball Championship of the Nevada County Country Club Women’s Golf Group.