FORT LUPTON – As is true of a lot of sports events, Stargate School had a win in its grasp. And then it didn’t.
Fort Lupton’s Omar Barron, who divided his time between the junior-varsity and varsity squads last year. Joined the varsity full time this year. His basket with 53 second left in overtime gave the Bluedevils a 57-56, come-from-behind win in the first round of the Santiago’s Shootout Dec. 7.
“It was a set play,” he said. “It was a motion-stop. So we pass the ball you cut,, then wait right there for a second. I was open in the middle. I was wide open. I took the shot, and it went in.”
His 3-pointer also gave the Bluedevils a short-lived, five-point lead with 1:45 left in the fourth quarter. But two FLHS turnovers allowed Stargate’s Dylan Perkins and Bo LaPenna to tie the score and force the extra period.
Bryce Andrews converted a free throw half way through the overtime to give Fort Lupton a one-point lead. Stargate’s Nathaniel Roling made a basket to give the Eagles a one-point lead with a minute to play. That set the stage for Barron’s game-winner with 53 seconds left.
Barron led the Bluedevils in scoring with 17 points. Connor Moll had 14, and Diego Medina added 10. The Eagles’ top scorers were Roling and David Thumma, who poured in 14 points. LaPenna added 11.
“Our guys did everything we asked them to do,” said Stargate coach Jason Gray. “You’re going to win some like that, and you’re going to lose some like that. We did everything we could. These guys, regardless of wins or losses, show up and put in the work. I expect the same out of them tomorrow as I did today.”
“It’s a good win,” said FLHS coach Jim Roedel. “We need to get over the hump and win a tight game. It’s always fun to do it early .. make mistakes and be able to come out on top? It’s always good early in the season.”
The Eagles’ roster includes seven underclassmen.
“We have some guards who are a little young,” Gray said. “They are a little immature basketball-wise. But they are growing. They’re going to pull through for us as the season goes on. We have five or six seniors who contribute, along with the underclassmen who contribute as well. It’s a great experience for our underclassmen to learn and actually build this program from what it was previous years.”
Stargate closes out the preholiday part of the schedule with a home contest against Denver School of Science and Technology/College View. Tip time is at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 16.