Double-digit victory old hat for Bear River
SACRAMENTO – The road to ARCO Arena and a Division IV Sac-Joaquin Section Championship was a rather unpleasant one – that is for the teams that stepped in the path of the Bear River girls basketball team. Bear River didn’t just win a section championship, it dominated teams in the process.
Of Bear River’s nine section titles, its 17-point win against Colfax this year was the third-largest margin of victory in a section championship game, with a 23-point win against Del Oro in 1997 and a 19-point win against Bret Harte in 1993 the largest.
In fact, the Bruins’ average margin of victory in its four section playoff games was 14.75 points, as they held opponents to an average score of 39.
Colfax, the division’s No. 1 seed, scored just 40 points in the section championship game – a total that was close to its lowest of the season. Two times this season the Falcons were held to just 37 points, against Paradise and Mesa Verde.
With the win, the Bruins are currently riding an 11-game win streak that began with a 60-33 victory against Oakmont Jan. 27 as the team has won 17 of its last 18 games.
However, Bear River’s last loss – a 52-51 heartbreaker to Colfax Jan. 25 – may have been the best thing to happen to the team.
“I hated that loss Colfax,” Bear River coach Jeff Bickmore said. “It was the most devastating loss I’ve ever experienced – which might make me look a little pathetic – but it was good for the team. It made us tougher.”
Colfax coach Dan Hicks also commented after the section championship game that the Bear River loss to his squad may have actually helped the Bruins in the long run. He said instead of having junior standout Lauren Juric floating around so much on the perimeter, it seemed like the team planted her in the blocks more for better results.
“I think losing to us really got their attention,” Hicks said.
Since the loss, no team has come closer to Bear River than 10 points, with defense becoming a priority for the Bruins.
In the section championship game, Bear River held Colfax to just 15-for-52 shooting or 23.1 percent from the field, giving up just one 3-pointer in 10 attempts.
To contact sports writer Stacy Hicklin, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4244.
9 – Number of section championships the Bear River girls basketball program has won
11 – Current win streak for the Bruins, starting with a 60-33 win against Oakmont Jan. 27
14.75 – Average number of points the Bruins won by during their four section playoff games
1 – First Sac-Joaquin Section Championship for head coach Jeff Bickmore
24 – Number of points Bear River junior captain Lauren Juric scored in the championship game against Colfax
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