Holy Family’s dominance too much for Olathe
The Olathe High School girls basketball team experienced what a lot of other teams have the past two years Friday night at Moby Arena: complete Holy Family dominance.
Holy Family swarmed the Pirates right out of the gate and never looked back en route to a 68-34 win in the Class 3A state semifinals.
“They are a good team, and we knew they would be,” Olathe coach Paul Althaus said. “Unfortunately, we just weren’t ready to handle it. When you get down 20-2, there’s not a whole lot you can do, especially against good teams.”
Holy Family held the Pirates to without a first-quarter field goal in building a 20-2 lead after the first eight minutes of play. The Tigers forced Olathe into 29 turnovers and came away with eight steals.
“My kids press very well,” Holy Family coach Ron Rossi said. “They just fly around everywhere. We definitely wanted to play pressure, pressure because they haven’t seen that before.”
Friday’s game was a tough way for the Pirates (25-1) to suffer their first loss of the season. Problems compounded even further when leading scorer Emily Brummitt sustained a first-quarter knee injury.
Althaus did not think she would be able to return for today’s third-place game against Pagosa Springs, but did say his team plenty to play for.
“We’ve got to get our heads up,” Althaus said. “These things are going to happen sometimes. More often than not, it does happen when you do have a record like we have. We’ve got to get our heads up and be ready to play because it’s a big game.”
Just as she did in Thursday’s win over Coal Ridge, Morgan Stansberry scored 14 points to lead the Pirates. Tawni Middleton added seven.
Althaus, though, was proud of all his players, who never quit even when faced with an insurmountable deficit.
Holy Family (24-1) not only will get the opportunity to avenge its only loss of the season, they will get the chance to win a third-consecutive state championship when it meets undefeated Colorado Springs Christian in tonight’s title tilt.
Aspen 44, Buena Vista 35: It was as good a night as any for the Aspen High School boys basketball team to make history.
The Skiers will be playing for their first state basketball championship in program history tonight courtesy of their win over Buena Vista in the Class 3A state semifinals at Moby Arena.
The Skiers will meet two-time defending state champion Faith Christian, which escaped with a 50-49 win Friday over Kent Denver, in tonight’s final.
“It feels great baby,” Aspen coach Steve Ketchum said immediately after his team’s historical victory. “Hopefully (tonight’s) going to be the icing on cake. (Faith Christian’s) a great ball club. They’re No. 1. There’s no question about it. We’re going to have to play the game of our lives to pull that off, so that’s what we’re going to go for.”
Aspen (25-0) used a suffocating defense that kept Buena Vista’s Josh Morgan under wraps — 10 points — and held the Demons (21-6) to only 24-percent shooting from the field.
Morgan, who torched Peak to Peak for 27 points, never was able to get loose. He was 1 of 7 from the field in the first half and finished 4 of 19 for the game.
Nick Fuller was the primary defender on Morgan, but a host of other Skiers all took turns guarding the Buena Vista sharpshooter.
“We were just trying to soft trap him so he would pass it to anybody else,” Ketchum said of his team’s strategy against Morgan. “We were happy if the ball wasn’t in his hands, and he gave it up a lot because he had to. Fortunately their other shooters didn’t hurt us enough.”
Offensively, Andrew Papenfus provided enough offense and timely shots for the Skiers. The 6-foot-6 senior forward scored 13 points, and hit two big 3s from the right baseline in the fourth quarter — the second of which put Aspen up 37-31 with 5 minutes left in the game.
“I just felt comfortable there,” Papenfus said. “I had daylight so I just put it up. My coach told me to just keep shooting it even though I wasn’t shooting so great early. It felt great when it went in.“Playing for a state title was the next logical step for the Skiers, who advanced to the state semifinals in 2008 and also played in last year’s state tournament. Papenfus said there’s a distinct difference between this year’s Aspen team and the previous two that have competed at Moby Arena.
“We have a team,” Papenfus said. “We don’t have a guy that just goes out and puts up 20 every night. We have five kids who are capable of scoring 20 on any given night. You’ve got to pick your poison with our team