Bruins hit their mark
COLFAX Ð If the Bear River girls basketball team wanted a share of the Pioneer Valley League Championship, they knew they had to take down No. 1 ranked Colfax to do so.
The Bruins wasted no time in doing just that, coming out of the gates fast and confident en route to a 66-50 win on their rival’s home court. The loss was just the fourth of the year for Colfax.
“I wanted to beat them pretty bad,” Bear River junior center Lauren Juric said remembering how Colfax upset Bear River at home 52-51 on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer earlier this season. “It was a pretty tense game with all the fans.”
With both teams finishing 11-1 in the league play, they split the league championship.
Juric’s desire to beat the Falcons was obvious from the opening tip as she was virtually unstoppable in the post hitting turnaround jumper after turnaround jumper, along with stepping out behind the 3-point arc to hit two from that range as well.
She played so well offensively that she outscored the entire Colfax team in the first half after scoring 16 points to Colfax’s 15. And with seven first-half rebounds she nearly posted a double-double in just one half.
The Bruins went into the locker with a 36-15 lead. But shortly after taking the court in the second half, Bear River was dealt a major blow with Juric being whistled for her fourth foul just 50 seconds into the half.
With three minutes and 53 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Juric fouled out on a confusing offensive foul call that originally looked as if Juric was the one headed to the foul line.
“With Lauren in foul trouble we had to go small,” Bear River coach Jeff Bickmore said. “But we hit free throws at the end and took care of the ball.”
The closest Colfax came was to within 12 points, but Bickmore admitted the first easy breath he took was as the final buzzer sounded. Bear River was 14-of-22 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.
As much as Juric took over the first half, Bear River senior guard Kristin Landre dominated the second half, scoring 12 of her 17 points. She also ended with eight rebounds and four steals. Junior guard Erin Noud finished with 12 points.
Colfax (23-4, 11-1) senior Michelle Cassilagio ended with a game-high 22 points and was the only Falcon in double digits.
“It was really big (the win), it gave us a league championship and assures us of at least a No. 3 seed in the playoffs,” Bickmore said.
The playoff brackets will be released Sunday afternoon.
To contact sportswriter Stacy Hicklin, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4244.
BRUINS 66, FALCONS 50
BR 16 20 9 21 – 66
C 8 7 12 23 – 50
BEAR RIVER (66): Chandre Uno 1 3-6 5, Shannon Dayton 0 0-0 0, Erin Noud 2 6-8 12, Tanya Copeland 0 0-0 0, Katie Thompson 4 0-0 8, Kristin Landre 4 6-10 17, Lauren Juric 8 1-2 19, Kaitlyn Spence 2 0-1 5. Totals 20 18-29 66.
COLFAX (50): Rebecca Pugh 3 3-6 9, Amy Filipowski 1 1-2 3, Tyler Divine 0 3-4 3, Sarah Briasco 2 0-0 4, Crystle Andrews 0 0-0 0, Michelle Cassilagio 8 4-4 22, Courtney Harrison 3 0-0 9, Lauren Maurer 0 0-0 0, Katie Cassilagio 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 13-16 50.
Fouled out: BR-Juric. C-Briasco, Harrison, Divine. Total fouls: BR 20, C 23. Technical fouls: none.
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User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
New season. New co-head coaches. Same expectations.