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Colfax in quarters

The name is the same, but the faces will be different when Colfax returns to the Arena in the quarterfinal round of the State 2B girls tournament on Thursday.

The Bulldogs qualified for the tournament by beating Lind-Ritzville-Sprague 44-38 Saturday at Cheney High.

It will be a new experience.

“None of my kids have been to Spokane before. Never,” coach Corey Baerlacher insisted.

Never may be a bit strong considering the myriad dining, shopping  and entertainment possibilities.

But in basketball terms? Nope. None has suited up for a state tournament game and only one, sophomore Olivia Mellor, has a sibling who has played at state (older sister Lizzie Mellor played on one state championship team; sister Lauren played on four).

So perhaps it was just an organic response from growing up in Colfax that gave the Bulldogs a definite air of confidence Saturday.

From the time the Bulldogs stepped on the court to warm up, they had a look in their eyes that said, simply, that they expected to win. Everything after that was just an exercise in problem-solving.

“That’s exactly it,” Baerlacher said. “I think a lot of that comes from the fact that they’ve played a lot of basketball and played a lot of basketball together. Five or six of these girls played on a team that we took to California over the summer to play in some NCAA-sanctioned tournaments.”

The Bulldogs did most of their scoring in streaks and runs. They opened the game with an 8-0 run and opened the second quarter with an 8-2 run.

“That’s been our M.O. all year,” Baerlacher said. “When we try to do too much, try to be too quick, our shots don’t fall. When we shoot in rhythm we do fine.”

Junior Amara Huber led the attack with 20 points, hitting 3 of 9 from 3-point range. Scout Cai added another 13.

Jenna Bennett and Daylin Killian both finished with 11 points to lead the Broncos.