PVL streak ends
Without hesitation Colfax senior guard Amy Filipowski admitted she was scared to take the shot. And who could blame her?
The host Bruins were up by two points with 18 seconds remaining and Filipowski found herself alone behind the 3-point arc right smack in front of the rowdy Bear River student section. But she shot the ball anyway – finding nothing but the bottom of the net.
Seconds later she sprinted/jumped in the air down the court toward her teammates as the Colfax girls basketball team gave Bear River its first Pioneer Valley League loss in 42 games by a score of 52-51.
The Falcons took the court in a sagging 2-3 zone and stayed in it until Bear River junior center Lauren Juric fouled out with two minutes, eight seconds remaining in the game. Colfax coach Dan Hicks confirmed after the game the sole reason for the zone was to limit Juric’s effectiveness.
“We can’t guard her (Juric),” Hicks said. “My post player is 5-foot-8 and we needed to help in the post. And the only way we could guarantee that we could tell people where to be (to help) was to play zone.”
Juric, who was averaging 14.5 points going into the game, is listed at 6-foot-2.
Hick’s strategy forced the Bruins to live and die with their 3-point shooting. Bear River scored six baskets in the first half – four of them from behind the arc. The Bruins went into halftime shooting just 4-of-21 from 3-point land.
With 41 seconds remaining in the second quarter Colfax had its biggest lead of the game, 25-11. In the closing seconds of the half, Bear River chipped the lead down to 25-16.
The Bruins did, however, come out of the locker room to go on a 9-1 run – keyed by two Chandre Uno 3-pointers and a trey from Erin Noud – to make the game nearly even just two minutes in the half. From that point on, the two teams traded one big-time play after another.
Shortly after the Bruins shot their way back into the game, Juric was hit with her fourth foul, but played in foul trouble for nearly 11 minutes. With her team up 49-46 with 2:08 remaining in the game, Juric was whistled for her fifth foul on a controversial offensive foul call that came during an out-of-bounds play under the basket.
“It was a tough game and I think there were a few questionable calls on Lauren,” Bear River coach Jeff Bickmore said. “And that hurt us in the second half, especially when she fouled out. That made it tough for us.”
The two teams were knotted at 49 with 1:23 still to play. After a turnover by both teams, Bear River senior Kaitlyn Spence hit her first and only basket of the game – a mid-range jumper to give the Bruins a two-point lead with 32 seconds to play.
Filipowski then hit her 3-pointer, Uno missed a long 3-point attempt, the Bruins were unable to get the rebound and Colfax’s Tyler Divine eluded Bruin defenders from being able to foul -giving Colfax the win.
“It’s hard to put that much energy into coming back and then sustaining it,” Bickmore said. “Uno, Noud and Kristin Landre all played unbelievable in the second half.”
Uno, a sophomore point guard, hit six 3-pointers to finish with 18 points, while Noud, a junior shooting guard, hit four from behind the arc to finish with 14 points. She also ended up with 12 rebounds.
Landre totaled eight rebounds and seven points, while Juric had seven points, eight rebounds and three blocks.
Senior Rebecca Pugh led Colfax with 18 points, with Divine chipping in 12.
For the first time in four years, the Pioneer Valley League Championship seems to be up for grabs with Colfax (18-3, 6-0) landing in the driver’s seat with the win. The Falcons do, however, have to travel to Mesa Verde Friday – playing a team they beat by just three points at home earlier in the season.
“We have to avoid the big let-down … Mesa Verde is very difficult,” Hicks said.
The Bruins (12-7, 5-1) play again at 7:30 Friday against Oakmont in Bear River’s winter homecoming game.
JV: Bear River 38, Colfax 28
The Bear River junior varsity team remained steady down the stretch to snag a 38-28 win against Colfax.
“We always look forward to this game,” Bear River coach Dave Pistone said. “They always put on a good show.”
Eight Bruins scored with Jocelyn Fry and Annie Osterholt both scoring eight points. Adrienne Bradley chipped in with seven points.
Frosh: Bear River 61, Colfax 26
The Bear River freshman team went into its contest against Colfax expecting to play its toughest Pioneer Valley League game. But in the end, the Bruins came away with a thumping of their neighbors.
Chloe Lyon led the way with 15 points, with Talore Spencer not far behind with 13 points.
“Caitlin Billingham played amazing on offense tonight – she really stepped up as a point guard,” Bear River coach Meghan Burt said. “I’m really proud of the girls. Colfax is always such a big rival and the intensity is so high.”
To contact sportswriter Stacy Hicklin, e-mail email@example.com or call 477-4244.
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