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No Mosier, no problem for Colfax

Falcons win fourth section title, leading the whole way against Amador after star senior goes down with knee injury
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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SACRAMENTO — Even from his uncomfortable seat on a stretcher in the Power Balance Pavilion pressroom, Chase Mosier couldn’t hold back his smile Saturday afternoon. Colfax High’s leading scorer could only watch after a knee injury in the third minute of the game. The Falcons hardly flinched, beating Amador 53-44 for their fourth Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championship. Colfax’s depth and mettle were tested when Mosier went down. The senior-laden group reacted with a defensive gem and more than enough offense. “Personally, the first thing I thought was, ‘Oh, crap,’” Oberg said of his reaction to Mosier’s injury, which left him unable to bend his left knee. “But we all stepped up. Everyone just played their roles.” Oberg finished with 15 points, including an 8-for-8 performance from the free-throw line. Senior Elliot Forseman filled in nicely for Mosier, scoring seven and leading the defense with three steals. “He’s a total energy guy for us,” coach Mike O’Connell said of Forseman. The Buffaloes, who knocked off 11-time section champion and top seed Modesto Christian on Wednesday, tied Colfax at 10 in the second quarter. The Falcons used and 8-0 run with buckets from four different players to take control. Luke Beninga scored four points just before halftime as Colfax built a 23-14 lead. Amador finally made a run in the fourth quarter after Colfax led by as many as 14. Clinton Tremeling’s pull-up 3-pointer cut the lead to five with 45 seconds left. But Oberg and Austin Brown were perfect from the line in the final minute to ice the win. “You have seniors taking those big free throws at the end and that’s huge,” O’Connell said. Senior Ben Buell outplayed Amador standout Austin Johnson. Buell scored 10 points and grabbed five rebounds. Johnson had 13 boards, but just one on the offensive end and just eight points on 10 shots. Sophomore Matt Larson went right at Amador’s 6-7 center, scoring five points off the bench for Colfax. Senior Robert O’Connell had six rebounds and helped spark a defense that limited the Buffaloes to just 35 percent shooting. The coach’s son said the Falcons had an inkling they could make a run at the section crown after falling to Modesto Christian in last season’s championship game. “From the beginning we knew we had a chance, but we never wanted to get ahead of ourselves,” O’Connell said. Colfax will move on to the CIF Northern California playoffs, likely without the Pioneer Valley League MVP. He was headed to the hospital to have his knee examined Saturday evening. The injury occurred as he cut through the paint and his knee brushed against an Amador player. He immediately clutched the knee and called for help to get off the court. The Falcons will host a NorCal playoff game Tuesday, and possibly Thursday. The NorCal title game is March 19 at Folsom High.