Second section – Falcons soar to championship
SACRAMENTO – In high school basketball, a starting five of four sophomores and one junior does not sound very threatening.
Not until you hear the names, at least: Taylor Kilgore, Olympia Jacobs, Lauren Jackson, Brittany Allen, and Brooke Hodges.
The five Forest Lake Christian starters helped lead the Falcons to their second consecutive Sac-Joaquin Div. V title Friday, beating the Modesto Christian Crusaders 58-44 at Arco Arena.
For Forest Lake, being section champion is far from a complete season.
“This is a step,” Falcon coach Steve Kellar said. “Our goal is to be back here in a couple weeks.”
More specifically, Kellar intends to return to the March 19th state championships. Before his team can return to the Sacramento Kings’ home court, it must survive the NorCal tournament. Forest Lake will host the first-round quarterfinal match and possibly a second-round semifinal game. The Falcons must also win the March 13th NorCal finals at Delta College.
If similar numbers to Friday’s can be put up, the likelihood of advancing is high.
It took two turnovers on their first two possessions before the Falcons found their rhythm and started putting up those numbers. After being down 3-0 early, Forest Lake scored nine unanswered points to take a six-point lead.
At the end of the first period, Forest Lake was up 15-9. Eight of those points were posted by Allen, who finished the night with game-highs of 20 points and five assists. She also earned the sportsmanship award for the Falcons, an award given to one player from each team. Ashley Chambers was given the award for the Crusaders. Chambers had a team-high 18 points.
A limited offensive output and a rise in turnovers in the second quarter had the Falcons up by only five at halftime, 27-22. In the third quarter, Forest Lake matched baskets with Modesto Christian to end the first 24 minutes with a 41-36 advantage.
As has become routine for the Falcons, they waited until late in the game to pour it on.
Minutes into the final period, Forest Lake went on its second impressive run of the afternoon, this time scoring 14 unanswered points capped off by four from Jackson.
This was Jackson’s first time starting after missing 16 games with a knee injury, and although her recovery is not yet complete, she did her share with eight points, knee brace and all.
Jackson was modest after the game.
“They did great without me,” she said, referring to her team’s dominating performance in her absence.
Forest Lake had an 18-point lead with only three minutes, 30 seconds remaining. Then the celebration began.
Even though both Allen and Jackson’s scoring totals were built mainly with layups, the offensive attack was balanced.
Kilgore and Hodges combined for six baskets from beyond the 3-point line. Kilgore finished with 14 points and Hodges had eight.
Senior Julia Hall has been with Forest Lake since the team’s first trip to Arco four years ago, and although her high-school career is quickly wrapping up, she doesn’t see the success of the Falcons coming to a close any time soon.
“Forest Lake is going to stick around,” she said.
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