Section championship advance
When was the last time Forest Lake Christian lost to Central Valley Christian League rival Sacramento Waldorf?
“About 61 league games ago,” said Falcon head coach Steve Kellar. “They were the last team we lost to in league before we started the streak.”
That streak of consecutive CVCL victories stretched to 60 straight this season, including two wins over the Waves of Sacramento Waldorf, who Forest Lake Christian will face at 4 p.m. today at ARCO Arena for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Championship.
The Falcons (25-5), who will be seeking their third-straight section crown in today’s title tilt, last lost to Waldorf in 2000, when the teams split two regular season matchups and the CVCL championship. Ever since, though, the series has been simply one-sided in FLC’s favor, including the showdowns between the CVCL’s top two teams this season.
“It’s become a pretty intense rivalry,” Kellar said. “There’s not a lot of love lost between these two teams. I think that’s fair to say.”
The Waves (25-5) have won 17 of their past 19 games, with the only setbacks being to the Falcons. Forest Lake Christian crushed Sac Waldorf in the first meeting, a 77-54 rout on the Falcons home floor, on Jan. 14.
On Feb. 11, the second verse proved to be same as the first – or at least very similar – as the Falcons traveled to Sacramento to win a 64-46 contest.
Each of those matchups, which eventually became blowouts, were actually closely contested in three of the four quarters of play.
In January, FLC led the Waves 17-14 after one stop, but the Falcons rolled out a 16-7 second quarter en route to the lopsided end result.
Nearly a month later, the Falcons wasted no time in tearing off a 21-9 advantage after one quarter and cruised the rest of the way.
“It does get a little tougher,” Kellar said of facing a rival several times in the same season. “But, in this case, I think that the fact it will be tougher is only going to make us get tougher. We want to come out and give them our best game.
“They haven’t seen our best game. They’ve seen it in spurts. But they haven’t seen us when all the pieces are clicking together like they are now.”
The Falcons were apparently clicking right along Tuesday night, when No. 2 seed FLC rolled past third-seeded Trinity Prep 73-17. In fact, Forest Lake Christian has taken care of its three playoff opponents by an average score of 72.6 points to 25.3.
Meanwhile, No. 4 Waldorf has made some waves of its own, whipping 13th-seed Turlock Christian 76-35 in the first round, pounding No. 5 Modesto Christian 70-50 in the quarterfinals and holding off ninth-seed Woodland Christian 43-39 in Tuesday’s semifinal at Galt High School.
The Waves are led by CVCL-leading scorer Jake Kelly, a junior, who averaged 22.7 points per game. Kelly scored 24 points in the first meeting with FLC and 18 the second time around. In each of those games, though, the Falcons kept Kelly from hitting more than 25 percent of her shots from the floor.
“We’re not going to do anything differently,” Kellar said. “We’ll jump every screen and won’t let her get a good look at any threes. Olympia (Jacobs) will play her again and work her hard.
“We’d love her to score 18-20 points and shooting 25 to 26 times again. That’s 20 misses where we’ll be off to the races on the other end. We’ll get those points right back, and more.”
Forest Lake Christian, which has won 13 straight games – dating back to a 61-49 loss to Berkeley High on Jan. 22 – has been blessed by a balanced scoring attack all season. Senior Brooke Hodges leads the team with 15.4 points per game, while juniors Taylor Kilgore and Jacobs average 13.0 and 12.8 points per outing.
“All three of those girls would be close to averaging 20 points a game,” Kellar said, “if we played in a more competitive league and I played (our starters) as much as other coaches do.
“I just think our girls are ready to turn it up a notch. Waldorf is a game to get up for. Our girls always look forward to that game -a lot.”
No. 4 Sacramento Waldorf Waves (25-5) vs. No. 2 Forest Lake Christian Falcons (25-5)
4 p.m. today
ARCO Arena, Sacramento
Admission: $13 adults, $6 students
Directions: Take Interstate 80 westbound to Sacramento and take the Truxell Avenue exit and go north a couple of miles. The arena will be on your left hand side just off Truxell Avenue.
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Hank Sowell’s introduction to the game of golf came early as a set of clubs was among the gifts he received on his very first birthday.