DENVER — Legend is one of those good Continental League basketball teams that seems to hang around without drawing much attention until the state playoffs begin.
This week the Titans are one of four teams still alive in the Class 5A boys state basketball playoffs after a 46-45 Great Eight victory over Fairview on March 8 at the Denver Coliseum.
Legend (21-6) made the decisive plays down the stretch against Fairview and will now challenge Denver East (24-2) on March 15 in a 7 p.m. Class 5A state semifinal game at the Coors Events Center in Boulder.
“I do feel like we have been overlooked,” Legend senior forward Connor Orgill said. “Now it's showing at tournament time.”
Titans coach Kevin Boley figured this year's team might have a chance to go farther than the 2011-12 Legend squad that lost in the third round of the state playoffs.
“We thought from the beginning of the year we had a chance to do something special,” he said. “This is tremendous for our school. I'm proud of our team. It doesn't matter where you start, it matters where you finish.”
Legend, playing without 6-foot-8 senior center Blake Truman who watched from the bench with a sprained ankle, finished strong against the Knights.
Leading scorer Jon Cosmann didn't register a point, but 6-7 senior Taylor Jenson scored 15 points, Orgill added 12 points and 6-7 junior Zach Mihalicz was the big man in the final 5:40 of the game.
Mihalicz, who finished with 11 points, scored Legend's final seven points and Orgill secured a key rebound when Fairview missed a shot with three seconds to play.
“We had some key wins and then there were a couple games we thought we should have won, and that's the reason we were not ranked as high as we thought we should have been,” Jenson said. “Obviously, I think we are proving everybody wrong now.
“We've always been good at closing games. We're good under pressure, keeping calm, and then Connor came up with a huge rebound. I'm excited to play in the Coors Events Center and go up against a real good team in Denver East.”