End on a high note – Seniors lift Bruins to win over rival Colfax
Jack McCrory put it right to them.
Pointing to the scoreboard with three minutes, 40 seconds left and the score knotted at 43 in Friday night’s season finale against rival Colfax, Bear River’s head coach turned to the seniors huddled before him during a timeout and just asked them directly:
“How do you guys want to end your high school careers?” McCrory shouted. “Here it is. There’s 3:40 left, how do you want to end your high school careers?”
The question might have been rhetorical in nature, but that didn’t stop Bruin senior guard Anthony Logan from responding in dramatic fashion. Logan came up with a pair of key steals – and four points – in the final minute of play to push the Bruins past the visiting Falcons 53-49 in Pioneer Valley League action.
“It’s the best feeling in the world,” Logan said of ending his prep career with a win. “Basically, (McCrory) told us to go all out. He said ‘You seniors, this is it. Give it all you’ve got.”
Logan did just that in leaping out to pick off a pass and then lay the ball away on the opposite end for a 49-45 lead with 40 seconds to go. It was the final bucket of his high school career and it gave the Bruins the cushion they would need.
The Bruins (13-13 overall, 6-6 PVL) then hit four of six free throws the rest of way, and were never seriously threatened again by the Falcons.
It was the first win for Bear River’s boys over Colfax since a 66-61 victory on Feb. 19, 2003, snapping a three-game skid against the rival Falcons. Colfax (16-11, 8-4) won the first meeting between the two teams this season by a 52-39 score on the Falcons’ home floor.
This time, though, Logan and his classmates put an exclamation mark on the Bruins’ Senior Night. The 5-foot, 10-inch guard finished with 14 points, six of which were scored in crunch time. For that, and for four years of being dedicated to Bear River’s common cause, McCrory met Logan on the sideline after the win, offering him – appropriately enough – a bear hug.
“He’s such a great athlete and just such a great kid,” McCrory said. “He came up with some huge plays. I’m so happy for him. He’s a hero.
“He’ll never forget this for the rest of his life.”
Likely, neither will Bruin leading scorer Jacob Lazor, who scored a game-high 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds. The Bruins also got a nine-point, four-rebound night from senior Matt Mocek and six points out of senior Matt Elders.
Bear River led 24-23 at a first half that saw the Bruin take leads of 13-8 at end of one quarter and 24-17 with 1:50 to go before the break. The Falcons came back with six straight points from junior forward Kevin Kleppe for the one-point margin at the half.
Colfax took its first lead of the game at six-minute mark of the third quarter, when Falcon junior Chase Oliver drilled a 14-foot jumper from the left side. Colfax looked to be in command, as junior guard Ari Iventosch scored six of the Falcons final eight of the second period for a 39-36 edge after three quarters.
Bear River is expected to be on the outside looking in at a berth in the Division III section playoffs, as the Bruins ranked 20th in the latest D-III power ratings. The top 16 teams in each division qualify.
Colfax, though, is likely to be among the top eight teams in Division IV, meaning the Falcons are likely to host a first-round playoff matchup.
Playoff brackets for all divisions will be released on the Sac-Joaquin Section Web site, http://www.cifsjs.org, at approximately 2 p.m. Sunday.
PIONEER VALLEY LEAGUE
Colfax (16-11, 8-4) 8 15 16 10 – 49
Bear River (13-13, 6-6) 13 11 12 17 – 53
Chase Oliver 2 5-6 9, Devin Ginty 5 3-4 14, Kris Ballenger 0 0-0 0, Ari Iventosch 5 0-0 12, Kevin Kleppe 4 3-4 11, Russell Stone 1 1-2 3, Troy Allesi 0 0-0 0, Spencer Ziebarth 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17 10-14 49.
Bear River (53)
Michael Fredrickson 0 0-0 0, Matt Elders 2 1-2 6, Matt Mocek 3 3-4 9, Anthony Logan 6 2-3 14, Jacob Lazor 5 3-4 16, Axel Wadman 1 0-0 2, Kevin Barker 2 0-0 4, Jacob Murnan 1 0-0 2, Dane Foster 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20 9-13 53.
Three-point shooting: Colfax 3-13 (Ginty 1-2, Iventosch 2-8, Kleppe 0-1, Stone 0-2); Bear River 4-17 (Fredrickson 0-1, Elders 1-2, Mocek 0-1, Logan 0-3, Lazor 3-8, Wadman 0-1, Barker 0-1).
Rebounds: Colfax 32 (Kleppe 10, Oliver 9); Bear River 28 (Lazor 9, Logan 5, Mocek 4).
Turnovers: Colfax 13, Bear River 12.
Five Jr. Miner football players and four Jr. Miner cheerleaders have all been selected to participate in the Sacramento (SYF) Youth Shrine Bowl, which benefits Shriners Hospitals for Children.
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