Hoops roundup: Cardinals edged in thriller

Scott Stocker
Posted

From one whirlwind situation to another was probably how the Elizabeth boys felt after their devastating, 67-66, Colorado Seven League loss last Friday to host Fort Lupton.

Elizabeth had a 30-24 lead with 2:00 left in the second quarter. But a flurry of 12 points over the remaining 1:40 in the period gave the Cardinals with a 42-25 halftime advantage. With a minute gone in the third quarter, they led 44-25. But from there, the roof began to cave in.

Fort Lupton’s Zach Boyd, who finished the game with 22 points, would help begin the second half barrage with the Blue Devils first basket of the third quarter. Over the next 3:50, they would outscore Elizabeth 14-2, helping the Blue Devils to trail 57-46 heading into the fourth quarter.

“In the fourth quarter we didn’t close out like we should have and we just let this one slip away,” said Elizabeth’s Jacob Gavitt, who scored 23 points. “We can’t take anything away from them. We just didn’t defend. They made the shots and we didn’t. But I’ll give them credit, they never gave up.”

With 1:01 left in the game a basket by Fort Lupton’s Jalen Vasquez tied the score at 63-63. A free throw by Elizabeth’s Cal Ross with 42 seconds left gave the Cardinals the lead. The Blue Devils would then gain their first lead at 65-64 on a Boyd basket with :30 remaining.

Trevor Boss would score the final Elizabeth points with 17 ticks left for a 66-65 lead. But with :09 left Cody Steinke fouled out trying to stop a shot by the Blue Devils Brodie Nelson. The ball went through the hoop giving the Blue Devils their final 67 points. Nelson, 14 points in the game, missed his free throw attempt giving the Cardinals one last attempt for the winner. However, they could not come through.

“We just kept going and there was a never give up attitude all the way tonight,” Boyd said. “We made the right decisions at the right time out there and we answered to our defensive needs. We’ve put in a lot of good practice and it’s paying off.

“This gives us a five game winning streak and I think with our confidence, we can keep it going,” continued Boyd. “They played us tough, especially at the beginning. But our guys found the answers tonight and it’s certainly a very good win.”

The loss left Elizabeth coach Mike Boss shaking his head..

“They played more physical that we did and they made the shorts when it counted,” Boss said. “They just didn’t let up and we can’t take anything away from them We got our early three’s, but we needed more and in the end, they didn’t come for us. In the end, they just outplayed us.”

Added Steinke, “I felt like we gave up a lot and we felt that a lot of calls were not going our way. We just let this one slip away. Up by 10-11 points that’s when they started to really pickup their game. We played to stay ahead and played not to lose.”

Elizabeth bounced back Saturday to defeat Pueblo South, 72-56. Gavitt led the way with 22 points while Steinke and James Christiansen each added 20. The Cardinals head into this week’s competition, 9-7 overall, 4-1 in the Colorado Seven League.

It was a split week for the Elizabeth girls, coached by Jamie Schmalz, and things didn’t go the way it was planned overall. .

Elizabeth, although putting up with a youthful Fort Lupton full court press throughout the game last Friday, prevailed, 70-16. However, the situation turned around on Saturday as they lost to Roosevelt, 59-58, in overtime. After last weekend’s action, the Cardinals are 10-5 overall, 5-0 in the Colorado Seven League.

Elizabeth had a balanced scoring night against Fort Lupton, led by Emily Whitworth and Tatum Neubert with 13 and 12 points, respectively. However, Neubert was injured in the third minute of the Cardinals game against Roosevelt. Still, the girls still put up an excellent battle according to Schmalz.

“We were down 10 points on two occasions and were able to come back in regulation,” Schmalz said. “Tatum had five points when she went out and Sabra Ross had to sit late with four fouls. Clare Nicolas and Ashley Stone led us the rest of the way with Clare scoring 20 points, Ashley 17.”

And how Elizabeth lost is heart breaking as Roosevelt scored the winning basket with just 01.1 seconds remaining in the overtime.

ELBERT

The Elbert boys, coached by Mac McGuire, improved to 8-4 on the season as the Bulldogs came away with a pair of wins against Flagler, 52-8, and Evangelical Christian, 53-27.

Adam Averett had the top games against the Elbert foes over the weekend scoring 16 points against EC then coming through with 12 against Flagler. The Bulldogs improve to 8-4 overall with the victories.

Flagler is on the young side as is Evangelical Christian. The Bulldogs shutout Flagler in the third quarter and only allowed one point in the first, two in the fourth and five in the second. The defense was just as tough against EC only allowing double-figures against it in the fourth quarter, 10.

The Elbert girls, now have a new head coach in Penny Hish, who takes over for fired Rebecca Tomlin. The Bulldogs were defeated by Evangelical Christian 56-28 on Jan. 25. They played a much closer game against Flagler, but fell to the Panthers, 55-52 on the 26th.

Lauren Pearson was the leading scorer against EC with 15 points while Logan Franek led the way against Flagler with 24. Pearson chipped in with nine against Flagler.

KIOWA

The Kiowa boys, under coach Walter Sutton, only played one game last week and it was a tough loss against Vanguard, 53-49. With the loss, the Indians dropped to 5-4.

And, it also was a tough weekend for the girls as they were beaten by Vanguard, 80-24, and by Deer Trail, 31-24. With the defeats, the Indians, under coach Mark Clemmons, fell to 2-7 on the season.

SIMLA

The Simla girls are certainly on a roll this season as the Cubs of coach Al Snyder improved to 9-0. The Cubs defeated CIVA Charter, 62-13, last Thursday then came away with a 66-59 victory against Peyton.

The ladies outscored CIVA 20-0 in the first quarter and led 28-4 at the intermission to win going away. It was a tougher go against Peyton as they only led 31-30 at the half.

The boys only had one game against Peyton and the results were certainly different. Peyton, now 10-2 on the season, won 56-33. Simla fell to 7-3 with the loss.