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High-flying Falcons crush Capitals

As they have all season, Forest Lake Christian’s Falcons put on their running shoes in Wednesday’s Division V playoff opener and ran the Sacramento Adventist Capitals right out of the gym.

FLC put together a 28-point first quarter, while forcing the Caps into 11 turnovers over the first eight minutes, as the host Falcons advanced to the second round with a 91-63 victory.

“On to round two,” Forest Lake Christian coach Dave Thomas said. “We were a little sloppy on defense, but our offense did what it normally does.



“We’re a high scoring team.”

And then some.




FLC (19-9), which averaged 75.1 points per game coming into the playoffs, surpassed the 80-point plateau for the sixth time on the season Wednesday. The most points the Falcons have produced this season was 116 in a blowout win over Woodland Christian on Feb. 1.

The Falcons got things going in a hurry, thanks to a lay-up and 3-pointer by Ben Sparling, followed by a fast-break bucket from Billy Corbin and an Austin Maynard score for a 9-2 lead less than three full minutes into the game.

The pace only picked up from there.

Netting eight of his game-high 23 points, FLC senior Andrew Ritchart led a 19-point scoring spurt over the final five minutes of the opening quarter.

By the time the dust settled, the Falcons were in firm control with a 28-15 lead heading into the second period of play.

“For us to be successful, we really have to share the ball,” said Sac Adventist coach Nathanael Dunn. “We can’t be successful getting into a running game with another team. (FLC) really controlled the tempo and that’s what you saw in the first quarter.”

Though the pace slowed in the second quarter and the Capitals came out in the third quarter with a short spurt to cut things to 45-35, the Falcons again hit the gas pedal over the final five and half minutes of the period. FLC outscored Adventist 23-9 to all but end any thoughts of an upset.

On the night, three more Falcons joined Andrew Ritchart by reaching double figures in the scoring column. Austin Maynard and Ben Sparling each scored 15 points, while Josh Ritchart added 13.

The Falcons also won the battle of the boards, grabbing 29 rebounds to the Capitals’ 19. Josh Ritchart topped out with nine rebounds, while big brother Andrew added eight.

Sacramento Adventist (10-12) was led by Jared Gladden’s 18 points, while Logan Adams added 15 and Chris Spears scored 12.

Forest Lake Christian now turns its attention to Friday night, when the Falcons will host either 12th-seed Excelsior (10-10) or No. 5 seed Faith Christian (17-8).

A win on Friday would advance the Falcons into the Division V semifinals, which is scheduled to be played at Galt High School on Tuesday.

ooo

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


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