Falcons upend Sac Adventist in playoff opener
SACRAMENTO – Sacramento Adventist traveled to Forest Lake Christian for its first-round matchups the last two post-seasons, and fell to the Falcons by 28 and 30 points per contest.
That was then. This is now.
It was the Capitals who hosted this year, but home court did not mean much of an advantage in the end, as the 10th-seeded Forest Lake Christian defeated the seventh-seed Sac Adventist 43-40 in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V playoffs.
Sacramento Adventist’s Alec Thompson hit a 3-point shot to tie the score at 39-39 with 1:21 to play in the game and the gymnasium went crazy.
But Forest Lake’s Josh Ritchart answered with a 10-footer just 10 seconds later, to regain the edge 41-39.
Thompson made another attempt to tie, but the shot came off the iron. Ritchart cleared the board and Garret Boatman made a 3-foot putback at the other end with 23 seconds until the final buzzer.
The Capitals’ Jacob Heinrich took a shot on the wing with eight seconds to play and was fouled. He hit the first free throw and upon missing the second, the ball was hit out of bounds by the Falcons. Sac Adventist had the ball under its own basket, down by three with eight seconds to tie.
Thompson had a good look from the top of the key, the shot hit the rim as the buzzer sounded, bounced off the backboard as the horn faded and off the side of the rim as the gym went silent.
“We did not panic, we stayed calm,” Forest Lake Christian coach David Thomas said. “The putback by Boatman was the difference in the game.”
The loss to the Falcons makes it three consecutive years of falling to FLC for Sacramento Adventist (15-7, 8-6 Sacramento Metro League) and third-year coach Nathanael Dunn. And all three playoff losses came in the first round to the Falcons (12-11 overall, 6-6 Central Valley Christian League).
“You can’t win scoring 40 points,” Dunn said. “Our defense did well enough, but we lost it in the first, only scoring four (points).”
Both teams started the game a little on the tight side, but FLC led 14-4 after one stop. Ritchart scored the game’s first basket 2 minutes and 30 seconds into the contest. The UC Davis-bound Ritchart finished the game with 16 points and eight rebounds. Sixteen points is well below his 25-point average, but proved to be a solid effort as two and three Capital defenders were draped over him most of the night.
“It was a great game plan,” said UC Davis men’s basketball coach Gary Stewart, who was on hand with several of Ritchart’s future teammates as they watched the soon-to-be Aggie open the playoffs. “Forest Lake opened with pressure to silence the crowd and they made stops when they had to.”
Three minutes into the second quarter, the Falcons had their largest lead of the night at 19-6, thanks to Randy Van Winkle’s back-to-back steals that ended up as layups for himself and Jason Camacho, who ended with six points apiece.
Thompson, who finished with 14 points, didn’t go quietly, hitting three 3-pointers on as many shots to end the quarter at 26-17.
In the third quarter Sacramento outscored FLC 14-10, led by point guard Derek Brizendine, who scored seven of his 12 points in the period.
The Falcons forced 20 turnovers and outrebounded the home team 26-17.
Boatman’s rebound and putback with 23 seconds to go was the biggest of the night, the senior finished the game with 10 points.
The Falcons will play at No. 2 seed Ripon Christian (19-6, 6-4 Trans Valley League) on Friday, after RC pounded Stone Ridge Christian 66-31 Wednesday.
The Knights have a big man in the middle in center Tyler Goslinga (6-feet, 8 inches), who averages 20 points and 11 rebounds per game.
“If Josh can handle him (Goslinga) on defense we will be OK,” Thomas said. “On offense Josh will play outside, and should have no trouble.”
Contact Sports Writer Scott P. Hopper at email@example.com or by phone at 477-4231.
Forest Lake Christian 43, Sacramento Adventist 40
FLC 14 12 10 7 43
SA 4 13 14 9 40
Forest Lake Christian (43)
Josh Ritchart 6 4-8 16, Jason Camacho 2 1-2 6, Dimitri Masumbuko 0 0-0 0, Josh Knapp 1 0-0 2, Garrett Boatman 4 1-2 10, Randy Van Winkle 3 0-0 6, Seth Brainard 1 0-0 2, Cameron Beste 0 1-2 1. Totals 17 7-14 43.
Sacramento Adventist (40)
Chris Spears 2 3-4 7, Derek Brizendine 5 0-0 12, Jacob Heinrich 2 1-3 5, Tyler Thomas 0 0-0 0, Jordan Collins 1 0-0 2, Alec Thompson 5 0-2 14. Totals 15 4-9 40.
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