Six in a row |

Six in a row

John HartBear River players (from left) Keith Marin, Gopal Cabrera, Dusty Tabellija and Tim Waechter collapse on Colfax's Robert Predosa on the defensive end Wednesday.
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Bear River boys basketball coaches and players agree the low point of their season so far was the double-digit loss to Pioneer Valley League rival Colfax a little under a month ago.

“We were in the locker room afterward and I told the guys how nice it would be if we won the next (five), so when they came to our house, the game would mean something,” Bruin head coach Jack McCrory said.

His boys did just that.

Bear River, on a team-high 17 points from Dusty Tabellija and 16 more from Gopal Cabera, moved its unbeaten streak to seven games with a 66-61 win over Colfax Wednesday.

“From the opening whistle, it was a battle between two great teams,” Cabrera said. “We moved the ball well on offense and we played great defense.”

The Falcons took the first – and their last – lead of the game on a Rich Schreiber low post bucket with seven minutes, five seconds left in the first quarter.

Bear River center Tim Waechter scored down low, then teammate Keith Marin gave the home crowd a reason to cheer after he stole the ball and then coast-to-coast for a lay up.

Waechter scored twice more and Cabrera scored 11 points, including a 3-pointer, as the hosts built a 19-point lead at the half.

“We came out with a lot of energy and attacked them from the start,” Bear River assistant coach Steve Box said. “After that big loss down at their place, it was important we come out and make a statement early.”

The Falcons came alive after the break, outscoring the hosts 32-14 through the first 12 and a half minutes to cut the lead to a point.

But Cabrera sparked a 12-6 run down the stretch with a deuce in the paint as the Bruins held on for the victory.

Steve Sacher finished with 11 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and four blocked shots for the Bruins.

Waechter tallied 10 points and 10 rebounds. Marin had nine points and eight rebounds.

Colfax’s Chris Pulver came off the bench to lead all scorers with 19 points.

With the win, second place Bear River (16-8 overall, 9-2 PVL) stays a game behind Colfax (20-6, 10-1) and still has a shot at a share of the league title with one game left in the regular season.

The decision over the Sac-Joaquin Section’s top-rated Division IV team also gives the Bruins, who entered the game at No. 9 among D-3 teams, a chance to move into the top eight, and with that, earn a first-round home playoff game.

“It would be great if we could move up to the number eight seed. We’ll probably need some help from the teams ahead of us, but it would be nice if this wasn’t our last home game,” Waechter said.

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