One possession at a time.
That was the Holy Family boy’s basketball team’s motto throughout the 3A Boys Basketball State Tournament and it certainly came into effect in the championship game against Colorado Academy March 15 at the Clune Arena at Air Force Academy.
With two minutes remaining in the game and the Tigers ahead 53-50, Colorado Academy sophomore Justin Bassey scored two free throws to tighten the score to 53-52.
After a timeout was called and 14.5 seconds left, the Mustangs took possession giving the ball to Bassey to attempt a 3-pointer. Bassey missed giving Holy Family its first state title since 1998.
“It’s crazy,” senior David Sommers said of the victory. “Words can’t describe it. I know a lot of people say that, but it’s definitely true.”
The Tigers and Mustangs traded the lead throughout the whole game with Colorado Academy taking a 10-point lead at the start of the second quarter 25-15. The Mustangs then went on a 14-4 run to tie the score at halftime at 29 points a piece.
The Mustangs regained the possession at the end of the third quarter 42-41. But a 3-pointer by Tigers senior Ryan Willis gave Holy Family the lead once again and for the rest of the game.
“I’m really happy for our boys,” Tigers head coach Peter Villecco said. “They deserve this so it was just fun to sit back and watch them celebrate.”
The Tigers also beat Colorado Springs Christian 59-51 in the semifinal game and Brush 70-40 in the quarterfinals.
Holy Family finished the season 26-2 overall with both losses coming from Jefferson Academy.
They were 17-0 before they lost to the Jaguars in league play. The other loss was in the District Tournament. But they didn’t let the defeats lose their confidence.
“It was actually after that second loss,” Sommers said of regaining confidence. “We regrouped, we had a meeting as just players and we talked with coaches and we found everything. We made a change and it worked out.”
The Tigers are losing five seniors this season including Devlin Granberg, Brennon Lee, Tim Kinoti, Willis and Sommers.