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Falcons face top seed in shot at Arco

Typically the No. 1 seed is always considered the favorite of any basketball matchup – hence the top billing in the bracket bestowed upon the squad.

But looking at today’s Sac-Joaquin Section Division V semifinal, Forest Lake Christian coach David Thomas likes what he sees on paper for his fourth-seed Falcons’ matchup with top-seed Sierra Christian.

“We had two people scout them and they seem to be all about the same size, between 5-10 and 6-1,” Thomas said. “They’re very solid and play very good defense, mostly in-your-face man-to-man.



“But we do have a size advantage.”

The Bears (18-3), based in Rocklin, don’t list their roster or team statistics on http://www.MaxPreps.com, which meant Thomas was pleased to have been able to send scouts out to gather info on the squad.




From the season schedule, however, it’s pretty clear the caliber of competition FLC will face today, as Sierra Christian has won 12 straight games – a streak that stretches back to a 45-41 loss to Esparto on Jan. 11.

“They’re obviously a good team,” Thomas said. “But our inside players ought to be able to score easily. If we can get the ball to Andrew (Ritchart) and Josh (Ritchart), they should be able to score.

“And if we can play good defense, and not turn the ball over, I think we have an edge. On paper, we match up real well.”

In addition to Andrew and Josh Ritchart, who average 15.3 and 14.9 points per game, the Falcons can also turn to seniors Ben Sparling (13.8 ppg.) and Austin Maynard (12.2 ppg.) for some offense.

Maynard, however, suffered an ankle sprain in Friday’s 80-52 win over Faith Christian. Although he plans to play, his coach said the ankle remains sore.

A win today at Galt High School would pit the Falcons against the winner of a matchup between No. 2 seed Brookside Christian and No. 3 Big Valley Christian in the Division V championship game at Arco Arena on Friday.

“I’d be happy with either one,” Thomas said, “if we can get to Arco.”

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To contact Sports Editor Brian Hamilton, e-mail bhamilton@theunion.com or call 477-4240.


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