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Bear River faces rival for section crown

They split the two games they played this season forcing a Co-Pioneer Valley League Championship, but this afternoon at ARCO Arena the question of which team really is the best the section has to offer will be answered.

A friendly regional rivalry between the Bear River and Colfax girls basketball teams takes to the road today to determine the Division IV Sac-Joaquin Section Championship.

The game, set to tip off at noon, is the first of six championship games being played today at ARCO Arena.



“This is exactly how I thought the brackets would turn out – with the two best teams in the section playing,” Colfax coach Dan Hicks.

Colfax (26-4) enters the game as the No. 1 seed with Bear River (22-7) a No. 3 seed.




The first time the two schools met, the Falcons snapped Bear River’s 41-game PVL win streak as senior guard Amy Filipowski hit a 3-pointer with 18 seconds remaining in the game to give her team a 52-51 win.

Bear River returned the favor, however, thumping the Falcons 66-50 in the final regular season game of the year as junior center Lauren Juric scored 19 points.

Asked what kind of game he expects today, Bear River coach Jeff Bickmore said it was hard to predict, but his team was focusing moreso on the defensive aspect of the game.

“In playoff games like this, it comes down to who can defend the basket,” Bickmore said. “We can’t depend on how we are going to shoot, especially in a place like ARCO Arena. we have to defend the best we can and make enough shots to win.”

Colfax made its last section championship game appearance in 2004, beating Bret Harte 45-39 to win the title. Bear River on the other hand has played in the section championship game in 1999, 2001 and 2002 without winning. Duwaine Ganskie’s Bear River teams won three consecutive titles from 1996-1998.

The two schools are first (Bear River) and second (Colfax) in all-time winning percentage in playoff contests. Colfax owns nine section championships, with the Bruins winning all eight of theirs in a nine-year span from 1990-1998.

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To contact sportswriter Stacy Hicklin, e-mail stacyh@theunion.com or call 477-4244.


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