SHINGLE SPRINGS — Playing in a brand spanking new gymnasium under a fairly new head coach couldn’t overcome an age-old reality of basketball: if the shots don’t fall, chances are you’re not going to win.
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Such was the case Thursday at Ponderosa High when the Bruins suffered through cold shooting and lost their Gold Dust Tournament opener to Colfax 50-39. Ponderosa is back in action tonight at 7 p.m. against the loser of the Davis-Nevada Union matchup.
While the newly reconfigured gym sparkled, the Bruins’ offense didn’t — managing just four first-quarter points and five in the third. Still, Thursday’s game was close heading to the fourth before the Falcons outscored the hosts 20-12 to seal the win.
“We had some really good shots in the first half that just didn’t fall. In the second we forced some so it’s not surprising those didn’t go in,” said Beal, who’s in his first full year at the Ponderosa helm. “Everyone’s excited about the new gym but it’s not quite a home court advantage yet.”
Coming in, the Bruins had only practiced a few times on the new floor to get accustomed to the new rims. Colfax also struggled early but managed to snare a 7-4 lead after the first eight minutes.
The Falcons used their size in the paint to extend their lead to 16-8 in the second before Ponderosa rallied. Griffin Fontana’s soft runner was followed by Zacc Williams’ bank shot before Taylor Bybee took Jordan Smith’s baseline pass to drain a corner three-pointer.
After Ben Buell’s aggressiveness awarded him a 3-point play, Bybee struck again with a spot-up three. Williams then found Smith who duplicated from the wing to pull the Bruins within a point but two free throws by the Falcons’ Austin O’Berg sent the teams into halftime with Colfax up 25-22.
“It was nice to see 18 points in the second quarter but unfortunately that was about half our points,” Beal said. “But we demonstrated we could hit shots and score.”
After bucketing 18 in the second quarter, Ponderosa’s shooting woes reappeared in the third but the Falcons weren’t any better as the teams played to a 5-5 deadlock.
Bybee’s pull-up jumper had Ponderosa within 30-29 early in the fourth quarter but Colfax gradually pulled away behind the shooting of O’berg and Chase Mosier. The deficit was just four points after Smith dished inside to Dom Campodonica before a 12-5 Falcon run closed it out.
Bybee led the Bruins with 14 points including four treys, and Williams added 12. Campodonico, saddled with first-half foul trouble, grabbed 10 rebounds, nine in the second half. O’berg scored 18 points to lead all scorers and Mosier added 10 to the Falcon total.