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Hard luck returns for La Salles final

The Falcons get revenge on Gladstone, but they come up short in Saturday's do-or-die season final at Molalla

MOLALLA - The hard luck that plagued La Salle's boys basketball team through much of the 2007-08 season showed its face again Saturday night, when the Falcons fell to Molalla 53-49 in a league playoff game.

The Indians (13-12, 7-5) earned the Capital Conference's third and final berth in the Class 4A state playoffs with the win, while the loss ended the season for the Falcons (14-11, 4-8).

Counting the conference playoffs, the Falcons went 6-9 against conference opponents this season and eight of the nine losses were by four or fewer points.

After tying Estacada (7-16, 4-8) for fifth place in Capital Conference regular-season play, the Falcons advanced to Saturday's game with Molalla through playoff wins over the Rangers (56-48) and Gladstone (44-40).

The win over Gladstone avenged a 46-43 loss to the Gladiators just a few days earlier. Ryan Soberanis (19 points) led the charge in last Thursday's game at Gladstone, as the Falcons blistered the nets, converting with 64 percent success from the field.

Soberanis and Vince Hicks (11 points) played a huge role in the Falcon victory, burning the nets from downtown. Soberanis hit four 3-pointers and Hicks hit three treys, as the Falcons connected with 7-for-12 success from beyond the arc.

Still, the Gladiators battled, and the score was tied with just over two minutes remaining.

Soberanis hit a key 3 and went 4-for-4 from the line down the stretch to put the Gladiators away.

Andy Applebee (10 points, 3 assists, 3 steals) was the only Gladstone player to reach double figures in scoring.

The Gladiators, who tied Molalla for third place in the league standings, finished up with an overall record of 14-11.