One might think that a slowdown basketball game would lull fans to sleep. But that wasn’t the case Friday when the Salida boys hosted Peyton.
Salida beat Peyton 18-10. (Yes, that was the final score.) The game was part of one of the weirdest weeks Salida coach Rocky Granzella said he has been a part of in all his years of coaching.
The week before the Spartans had defeated Platte Canyon 105-54, and then following the Peyton win they lost to Pagosa Springs 55-43. They take a 5-1 record into the holiday break.
"It was the oddest week of basketball that I’ve ever been associated with," Granzella said. "We had beaten Platte Canyon and that was probably the reason (Peyton) coach Brian Green wanted to slow down the game. It just became much slower than we anticipated, a cat-and-mouse affair."
Peyton changed its game plan by moving players to different positions on the court, forcing Salida to adjust.
"We matched up well with them man-to-man, but they switched their lineup around and we found their best player, Bryant Thomas, was out at mid-court," Granzella explained. "As it turned out they wanted to slow us down. Bryant would hold the ball and wait for us to attack, and we didn‘t go after him. So, it turned into a delay game."
Thomas would dribble the ball forward if the officials began a 5-second count and take the ball back again to the top when needed. As a result, baskets came at a premium for both teams. Only six players scored in the game. Petyon also went scoreless as a team in the second and fourth quarters.
Salida was led by 6-foot-8 post player Ron Fore and Josh Jones, who each scored six points. James Bove tallied four points and Rob Spencer had two. Peyton’s Thomas had four points via a 3-point basket and a free throw, and Mitchell Watkins had the other six points on two 3-pointers.
Salida led 4-3 after the first quarter and 8-4 at the half. Peyton outscored Salida in the third quarter 7-6, but still trailed 14-10. That was as close as the Panthers came. The game, under the circumstances, was played very fast. It started at 7 p.m. and was over by 7:50. That included all timeouts being used by both teams and the halftime intermission. Granzella said he was home by 8:30.
"There was actually more to the game than the score shows," Granzella said. "It was also strange that our fans were really excited and into the game. It was loud all the time. I think it was because they all expected something to develop quickly, as did we. You wouldn’t have thought it would have been like that, but it was. From that standpoint, it also made the game enjoyable for our players. It was just nuts."
Said Fore, a senior, "It was the weirdest situation in a game that I’ve ever played in. We felt that we almost had to score each time we had the ball. We didn’t know if each time we had the ball it would be our last."
Breaking it down
The Buena Vista boys basketball team, behind a 35-point effort from Josh Morgan, defeated Sanford 68-57 to win the Alamosa Holiday Tournament. The Demons beat host Alamosa in the opener, 66-43, behind Morgan’s 27 points, and Monte Vista in their semifinal, 68-30, with Morgan scoring 20 points. Morgan is the leading scorer in Class 3A, averaging 28.8 points a game for Buena Vista, which has gone 6-1 and is ranked No. 4 by MaxPreps . . . Calhan, ranked No. 5 in Class A, beat Fowler 74-49 and Rocky Ford 57-43 to win the Fowler Invitational. The Bulldogs are 6-0 heading into the break . . . Primero boys are ranked No. 4 in Class A, but the Bulldogs could be moving up due to their 8-0 record. Justin Robinson, averaging 17.8 points, and William Bryant, 16.5, have been the team leaders … Weld Central improved to 7-0 with a hard-fought 80-72 victory against Peak to Peak last Saturday. Sophomore J.J. Sirios scored 20 points to lead the way for the Rebels, while Brandon Hoff added 19 more to help secure the win . . .Highland won the Wiggins Tournament for the fourth consecutive time, beating Pawnee 65-22 in the championship game. Tyler Clawson led the way for the winners with 19 points.
On the girls side, Estes Park’s Kimmy Hansen is having a banner year for the Bobcats, who are 7-1 and ranked No. 3 in 3A. In last week’s action Hansen, who is averaging 27.1 points a game, outscored Fort Lupton by herself with 26 points in their 70-24 victory. Then, she tied Machebeuf with 33 points in the Bobcats’ 58-33 win against the Buffs . . . Pawnee, which finished fourth in state last season in Class A, looks to be ready to make another serious challenge for the title. They beat Highland 54-38 to win the Wiggins Tournament and improve to 6-0 on the season. Leading the way has been Kayla Konig, who is averaging 15 points, and Adele Cass, who has chipped in 11.8 an outing.