Basketball: Pagosa Springs boys nip Basalt in OT at regionals
Special to The Aspen Times
DENVER — This was what the state high school basketball playoffs are all about.
In a game befitting the No. 16 and No.17 seeds in the Class 3A state playoffs, Basalt and Pagosa Springs played a down-home barnburner to open the Class 3A state playoffs on Friday night.
It took the Pirates everything they had, including an extra four minutes, to end Basalt’s season as Pagosa Springs held off the Longhorns 54-52 in overtime at Bruce Randolph School.
This game was close throughout.
Pagosa’s biggest lead was six, Basalt’s just five in the back-and-forth contest.
“It was a really good game,” Basalt coach Danny Martinez conceded.
There were two lead changes and three ties in the fourth quarter alone.
Pagosa Springs had a chance to salt the game away, taking a 46-42 lead with 1:08 remaining in the fourth quarter.
But Basalt answered a half-minute later with a Michael Glen bucket.
Basalt got a steal off an inbounds pass following a timeout, however, and Glen drove in for a short jumper to knot the score.
There were still 7 seconds remaining.
Pagosa Springs called a timeout and had a wide-open layup opportunity off an inbounds pass, but guard Ty Kimsey was called for traveling with four seconds left.
The Longhorns called a timeout and set up a play for Glen to drive in the lane, but his shot from the left side finally rolled off the rim, sending the regional game into overtime.
Basalt trailed 50-48 when the Longhorns were called for a foul. Surprisingly, it was called a flagrant, and Briar Erskine, who was a big contributor to the Pirates’ victory with 20 points and nine rebounds, calmly sank both free throws.
Glen, who finished as the game’s high scorer with 24 points, hit a 3-pointer with 3 seconds remaining to cut the deficit to 54-52.
The Longhorns immediately fouled and got what they wanted, a miss on the front end of a one-and-one, but there was not enough time to get a decent shot before the final horn sounded.
“They played their hearts out,” Martinez said.
In addition, with a team full of juniors, “It was a good experience for our team” he said.
The Longhorns finished the season 17-6. Pagosa Springs moved to 14-8.
Wade Soho, who finished with eight points and did an impressive job on the boards, was pleased with his team’s performance.
“We’ve developed really well this season,” he said. “We’re glad to be here.”
And with so many returning letter winners, he and his teammates are already looking forward to the off-season.
“We’re ready for next year,” he said of the Longhorns’ goal of going even further in next season’s playoffs.
In the day’s early game, Roaring Fork put up a good battle against No. 1 seed Denver School of Science and Technology-Stapleton.
The Rams were within four a 40-36 with 2½ minutes left in the third quarter before the talented, athletic Knights pulled away in the final 10 minutes to take a 65-51 victory in the regional matchup of No. 1 vs. No. 32.
The Rams had three players scoring in double figures to lead a balanced attack.
Denver Science and Tech-Stapleton (22-1) will play Pagosa Springs today for a berth in the Great 8 next week at the Denver Coliseum.
Grand Valley, Coal Ridge win
In other Class 3A boys regional first-round games Friday, Coal Ridge defeated Buena Vista 62-53.
The Titans (16-7) will play Manitou Springs (21-2) in the regional final. Manitou defeated Kent Denver 63-37.
The Grand Valley boys won on their home court in Parachute on Friday, defeating Frontier Academy of Greeley 69-54.
Grand Valley (20-3) will play St. Mary’s of Colorado Springs in today’s regional final. St. Mary’s (14-9) defeated Middle Park 72-54 on Friday in the first round.
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