Boys Varsity Basketball, Girls Varsity Basketball · Basketball: Tigers survive and advance out of first round


BROOMFIELD — At one point on Tuesday night, you could hear Holy Family Family coach Pete Villecco tell his team during a timeout, that “this is the post season boys.”

The atmosphere was great but the thought of it all being over in an instant can creep in at any time, especially in a tight game.

That’s just where the Tigers found themselves in the opening round of the Class 4A tournament against Grand Junction. Twelfth-seeded Holy Family was just a step quicker and made the most of their easy looks down the stretch to keep the visiting Tigers at bay for a 67-56 victory.

“There is obviously a bit more on the line,” said junior Jackson Ward, who finished with a season-high 28 points. “If we lose, we are done. We came out and took it to them in the second half.”

Holy Family (10-5) advances to the Sweet 16 and will face NCAC rival and fifth-seeded Mead, who they beat last month 67-58 on their home floor. The Mavericks cruised by Canon City on Tuesday night.

Holy Family was up just 27-24 at the break, and needed to find another offensive weapon to go with Ward, who had score 18 points in the first half.

Enter senior Connor Cooney.

Known for his defensive work ethic, Cooney — who didn’t score in the first half — scored all 12 of his points in the second and did so by getting to the basket time after time. His quickness to beat the defender and score with the left hand constantly caught Grand Junction off guard and they simply had no answer for him.

“First drive of the half I was able to get by (Grand Junction guard Dillon Chapman) and I was able to do it again and again,” Cooney said. He just couldn’t stay in front and I just wanted the ball in my hands and drive left.”

Said Ward: “It was nice to see Connor step up there.”

Defensively, Holy Family keyed on Chapman and leading scorer Blain Butler, and while those two still combined for 34 points, they didn’t allow the other guys to beat them.

Holy Family got seven each from Eric Quintana and Esrom Abraha.

The Tigers will face a Mead on Thursday try and knock off one of the best teams in the state for a second time.

“We just have to come out like we did last time,” Ward said. “We knew we were the underdogs and we just came out fighting. We just have to come out with that spirit again.”

Said Cooney: “We shot the ball the best we have all season against them and we have to do that again. They are a good team.”

GIRLS

The top-seeded Holy Family girls beat No. 32 Frederick in a game that was not as close as the score might indicate, 64-41.

Holy Family will host No. 17 Roosevelt on Thursday afternoon. The RoughRiders won 41-40 on the road at D’Evelyn on Tuesday night.

The Tigers were up 30-8 and let off the gas pedal in the second half against the Warriors, who had won six of their final seven game to not only get back to .500 but earn their way into 32 team field.

“We are going to take that very seriously that they did hang with us a little bit,” said senior Tyler Whitlock, who finished with nine points. “In practice tomorrow we are going to work a little extra on everything just to try and get back to where we were midseason. I think the intensity needs to ramp up just a bit more.”

Freshman Essynce Contreraz led all scorers with 13 points off the bench and senior Alyssa Wells added 12.

BOYS

(12) HOLY FAMILY 67, (21) GRAND JUNCTION 56

At Holy Family

Grand Junction (9-6)   12   12   12   20   —   56

Holy Family (10-5)   13   14   13   27   —   67

Grand Junction — Simpson 0 1-2 1, Paradiso 2 2-2 8, Skinner 3 1-3 7, Butler 5 2-6 16, Chapman 5 5-5 18, Teeter 1 0-0 2, Woldruff 0 0-0 0, Johnson 2 0-0 4. Totals 18 11-18 56

Holy Family — Quintana 2 1-3 7, Hammond 2 1-2 5, Cooney 6 0-3 12, Ward 10 7-7 28, Abraha 2 2-2 7, Tafoya 2 1-2 5, Bridges 0 0-0 0, Fritchen 1 0-0 3, Harkness 0 0-0 0. Totals 25 12-19 67.

3-pt. goals — Grand Junction (9): Butler 4, Chapman 3, Paradiso 2; Holy Family (5): Quintana 2, Wrad, Abraha, Fritchen. Fouls — Grand Junction 16, Holy Family 16.

GIRLS

(1) HOLY FAMILY 64, (32) FREDERICK 41

Frederick (7-8)   6   2   13   20   —   41

Holy Family (11-1)   17   13   23   11   —   64

Frederick — Majeres 4 0-0 12, Staff 2 0-0 6, Tarnowski 2 0-0 4, Davis 2 4-4 8, Glasgow 1 0-0 3, Rosine 1 0-0 2, Howell 0 0-0 0, Jima 1 0-0 2, Hanks 1 2-2 4, Frank 0 0-0 0, Berringer 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 6-6 41.

Holy Family — Whitlock 4 1-4 9, Sanders 3 0-0 8, Hren 4 0-0 10, Wells 4 3-3 12, Aanerud 1 0-1 2, Bertsch 3 0-0 6, Dooley 1 0-0 2, Quintana 0 1-2 1, Contreraz 3 5-6 13, Snashall 0 0-0 0, Hodell 1 0-0 2. Totals 24 10-17 64.

3-pt. goals — Frederick (7): Majeres 4, Staff 2, Glasgow; Holy Family (7): Sanders 2, Hren 2, Contreraz 2, Wells. Fouls — Frederick 13, Holy Family 10.