2A BOYS STATE TOURNAMENT CAPSULES

State quarterfinals for the 2A boys’ basketball state tournament will take place Thursday at the Loveland Events Center.   The top three finishers from last year are all back for another run at the title including Yuma as the Indians seek a third consecutive crown.  The Indians face Fowler, the third-place team from a year ago, in a very attractive quarterfinal.  Highland also returns as ending up one win shy of the title last year as they fell to Yuma in the state championship battle.

Highland opens the run this season against Ignacio as the Bobcats make their second appearance in three years.  Pace will be important as the Bobcats allow just 49 points per game while the Huskies tally 87 per night.  Highland has scored at least 80 in 19 of 24 games this year but Ignacio has not given up more than 70 in a single game.

Sanford and Wray battle in the four-five seed game.  The Indians won three consecutive crowns from 2014-16 but haven’t won a tournament game since.  Wray qualified for the first time since 2007 but hasn’t won a tournament game since 1949.  Both clubs are red hot as each carries an eight-game winning streak to the tournament.  Overall, Sanford has won 17 of 18 and Wray 13 of 14.

Yuma topped Fowler 56-47 in the state semifinals a year ago and then topped Highland for the state championship the next night.  Fowler bounced back from the loss to beat Holly for the third place hardware.  Yuma gives up just 38 points per game; Fowler averages 60.

Limon is another team back from last year as the Badgers responded to a quarterfinal loss to Highland to beat Mancos and Byers for the consolation crown.  They open their 2020 run against Peyton which is making their first appearance since 2013.  Limon has made the state finals seven times with four titles in their history.  Peyton has made just one finals appearance (2009) and lost to Faith Christian 64-62 in Class 3A.

Below are capsules for each team.  They’re listed in bracket order.  Please note that all quarterfinal games are available through a live video stream at NFHSNetwork.com.  The semifinals and both the third place and state championship game will also be available.

 

#1 HIGHLAND HUSKIES (23-1)

COACH:  Pete Freeman

STATE TITLES:  2000 (beat Weld Central 58-47)

LEAGUE:  Won Mile High (12-0)

REGIONALS:  Beat Calhan 92-43 & Holly 65-63

STREAK:  Won 19

RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: (1-0)

  • Wins: Peyton
  • Losses:

TEAM NOTES:  Outscored opponents by 885 points (36.9 per game)…only two games decided by less than 15 points…record of 1-1 in those games (beat Holly 65-63 / lost to Eaton 90-89)…averaging 86.5 points per game….scored at least 80 points in 19 of 24 games…season high 113 vs Twin Peaks Charter…state runner-up last year as they lost to  Yuma in finals…4th straight appearance

NAME PTS REBS ASSTS STEALS 3-POINT
Tate Bessire 23.3 4.8 6.1 5.2 57
Jace Bessire 18.7 5.7 4.5 5.2 54
Bowen Tolle 14.8 8.6 1.4 1.6 12
Holden Morgan 11.6 5.0 2.3 2.0 10
Jessa Vasa 7.0 2.8 2.8 2.1 16
Colton Steinke 3.4 1.5 0.4 1.0 4
Jaymon Martin 2.9 1.5 0.6 0.7 8
Bryce Brug 2.6 3.4 1.5 1.9 1

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#8 IGNACIO BOBCATS (18-4)

COACH:  Chris Valdez

STATE TITLES:  1988 (beat Basalt 73-65)

LEAGUE:  Tied w/Mancos for San Juan title (9-1)

REGIONALS:  Beat Dolores Huerta 72-67 and Mancos 58-50

STREAK:  Won 2 & 8 of 10

RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: (2-0)

  • Wins: Limon, Ouray
  • Losses:

TEAM NOTES:  Outscored opponents by 287 points (13.0 per game)…has a quality win over #2 seed Limon from December (62-54)…record of 7-3 in games decided by single digits…split 4 games with Mancos this year including win on the road to win regional crown last week…allowing just 49 points per game…2nd appearance in three years and 5th since 2014…finished 6th in 2018

NAME PTS REBS ASSTS STEALS 3-POINT
Bryce Finn 12.0 5.8 1.7 1.3 26
Brady McCaw 11.8 3.7 2.4 2.2 30
Triston Thompson 9.2 4.3 3.2 2.6 15
Ocean Hunter 9.1 5.3 1.9 1.9 14
Gabe Tucson 6.5 4.5 2.8 1.6 19
Keegan Schurman 6.3 2.4 2.9 2.5 18
Dillon Labarthe 4.8 3.5 0.5 1.6 1
Bird Red 4.8 3.6 0.9 0.3 4
Joe Garcia 3.2 1.6 0.6 0.5 14

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#4 SANFORD INDIANS (20-4)

COACH:  Rhett Larsen

STATE TITLES:  (8) 2016, 2015, 2014, 03, 95, 77, 50, 49

LEAGUE: 2nd in Southern Peaks (6-1)

REGIONALS:  Beat Telluride 49-30 & Burlington 56-38

STREAK:  Won 8 & 17 of 18

RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: (0-3)

  • Wins:
  • Losses: Alamosa, Centauri (2)

TEAM NOTES:  9th tournament appearance since 2012….won three straight titles from 2014-16 but lost their last two state quarterfinal games….fell to Crowley County in 2018 and Sedgwick County in 2017….outscored opponents by 477 points (19.9 per game)…only 2A loss to Crested Butte….also beat the Titans this year…just two games decided by single digits…lost to Crested Butte 47-38 and beat Crested Butte 38-31.

NAME PTS REBS ASSTS STEALS 3-POINT
No Stats provided

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#5 WRAY EAGLES (18-6)

COACH:  Karson Kuntz

STATE TITLES:  None

LEAGUE: 3rd in Lower Platte (6-2)

REGIONALS:  Beat Thomas MacLaren 90-56 & Sedgwick County 46-28

STREAK:  Won 8 & 13 of 14

RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: (1-3)

  • Wins: Merino
  • Losses: Yuma (3),

TEAM NOTES:  Last state tournament win in 1949…beat Frederick 46-29 in 3rd place game…first appearance since 2007 and also played Sanford in the quarterfinals that year….lost 65-48…then lost in consolation bracket to Meeker….8th appearance overall and just second since 1956…won 31 games over the past two years after having just 18 wins over a seven-year span….opened season 5-5 but has won 13 of last 14…outscored opponents by 408 points (17 per game)…averaging 67 point a contest

NAME PTS REBS ASSTS STEALS 3-POINT
Justin Pecar 16.7 9.3 0.9 1.7
Sam Uyemura 13.1 2.0 2.1 2.4 64
Junior Arambula 12.6 3.9 7.7 4.4 17
Bryant Schoenthal 7.2 6.2 0.6 1.1
Dane Srsen 6.7 4.7 1.5 1.2
Jaden Dodsworth 4.6 2.0 1.4 0.9 11
Lorenzo Morales 2.8 1.7 0.9 1.0 14

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#3 YUMA INDIANS (20-3)

COACH:  Dave Sheffield

STATE TITLES:  2-time defending champs – 2019, 2018, 81, 63, 58

LEAGUE: Won Patriot (8-0)

REGIONALS:  Beat Meeker 63-45 & Vail Mountain 67-35

STREAK:  Won 3 & 8 of 9

RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: (4-0)

  • Wins: Wray (3), Merino
  • Losses:

TEAM NOTES:  Two-time defending champs – beat Highland 52-39 last year & Crowley County 59-41 in 2018…beat Fowler 56-47 in state semifinals last season…3 of 6 tournament wins the last two years by single digits…3rd straight appearance and 3rd since 2013….before current run the last win came in 2011…outscored opponents by 332 points (14.4 per game)…giving up just 37.8 points per game…3-3 in games decided by single digits

NAME PTS REBS ASSTS STEALS 3-POINT
Clay Robinson 15.2 7.9 2.2
Chase McCreath 14.0 8.2 0.8
Rolando Caraveo 7.6 1.6 2.2
Jonathan Rascon 6.4 3.2 1.2
Javier Gamboa 4.8 2.3 1.3
Cade Morton 2.7 1.5 1.2

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#6 FOWLER GRIZZLIES (22-2)

COACH:  Mark Lowther

STATE TITLES:  None

LEAGUE: Won Santa Fe (13-0)

REGIONALS:  Beat West Grand 59-36 & Crested Butte 56-46

STREAK:  Won 19

RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: (0-2)

  • Wins:
  • Losses: Centauri, Limon

TEAM NOTES:  Finished 3rd last year – beat Holly for 3rd place after losing to Yuma in state semifinals…3rd appearance in last 4 years and current stretch their first trips since 2000….reached championship game only once (1959)…before last season the Grizzlies last tournament win was in 2000…lost both games decided by single digits (Centauri & Limon)…outscored opponents by 521 points (21.7 per game).

NAME PTS REBS ASSTS STEALS 3-POINT
Val Leone 18.0 7.3 3.0 2.7 40
Johnathan Mobbley 16.4 11.1 1.2 2.3 7
Gabriel Proctor 10.8 4.9 4.0 3.0 24
Luke Bitter 5.0 2.9 2.1 1.7 10
Rylee Smith 4.4 2.3 1.0 1.2 3
Braxton Bates 3.3 3.1 0.7 0.9
Jackson Bates 2.8 1.4 1.5 0.7 12
Liam Griffy 1.6 0.5 0.2 0.3 7

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#2 LIMON BADGERS (22-2)

COACH:  Dirk Pedersen

STATE TITLES: (4) – 1964, 1962, 1961, 1959

LEAGUE: Won Union Pacific (6-0)

REGIONALS:  Beat Del Norte 79-45 & Dawson 80-50

STREAK:  Won 17

RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: (3-1)

  • Wins: Kit Carson, Fowler, Merino
  • Losses: Ignacio

TEAM NOTES:  2nd straight tournament appearance and 23rd in school history…won consolation trophy last season after losing to Highland in quarterfinals…beat Mancos and Byers in next two games…4-3 all-time in state championship games…outscored opponents by 577 points (24.0 per game)…averaging 64 points per game…4-2 in games decided by single digits.

NAME PTS REBS ASSTS STEALS 3-POINT
Camden Smithburg 16.6 3.5 2.4 3.0 46
Kory Tacha 15.0 5.6 3.4 2.0 59
Alex Carr 10.1 7.5 1.1 1.3
Brady Rockwell 5.8 4.1 2.5 1.7 11
Trey Hines 4.2 3.0 1.9 1.5 14
Logan Marx 3.7 4.9 1.0 0.2
John Jaklich 3.1 4.0 0.6 0.6
Eli Weisensee 2.0 1.9 0.5 0.2 1

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#7 PEYTON PANTHERS (19-5)

COACH:  Jedd Sims

STATE TITLES:  None

LEAGUE: 2nd in Black Forest (6-1)

REGIONALS:  Beat Plateau Valley 61-29 & Denver Christian 44-40

STREAK:  Won 7 & 11 of 13

RECORD VS STATE TEAMS: (1-2)

  • Wins: Evangelical Christian
  • Losses: Highland, Vanguard

TEAM NOTES:  First tournament appearance since 2013…went 0-2 that season…only two tournament wins came in 2009 as they beat Erie (82-73) & Valley (51-44)…lost to Faith Christian 64-62 for the championship that season…outscored opponents by 336 points (14.0 per game)…averaging 50.4 points per game…3-2 in games decided by single digits including four point win in regional final…only one senior on the roster

NAME PTS REBS ASSTS STEALS 3-POINT
Brennen Myers 11.0 5.3 1.3 2.2 46
Gavin Miller 10.2 3.8 1.4 1.2 11
Gibson Gellerman 8.5 1.8 1.5 1.1 19
AJ Lashley 6.9 2.1 2.9 2.8 23
Logan Nickell 5.5 1.9 0.3 0.7 26
Evan Neumeier 3.1 3.1 0.3 0.8
Jase Lanto 2.7 1.4 0.1 0.3 1
CJ Lashley 2.1 2.6 0.5 1.0

 

 


Kevin Shaffer

Kevin Shaffer

Kevin Shaffer is the founder and owner of the Colorado Preps Network which debuted in the summer of 2003. Kevin and his wife Lanette reside in Fort Morgan and are the proud parents of Lexi and Tyler.

6 Comments

  1. Sanford was in the state tournament 2009,12,13,14,15,16,17,18. And about 25 appearances before that also. Not a Sanford fan here, but that team nearly never misses.

    • Not sure how many total appearances Sanford has at state. Would be worth looking into. Has to be competing for the most of any class. Sanford fan here.

  2. Thanks for all of the awesome updates and information Kevin! Your efforts are very much appreciated!

    My predictions- (I Have seen all teams in person at least once other than Peyton)

    Highland Vs. Ignacio- I really feel like it is Highlands year. They have been building towards this for a while now, and likely have an offense that is too much for their opponents. Highland 68 Ignacio 50

    Sanford Vs. Wray- Should be a very very good game. I feel like Sanford’s defense and size might be too much for Wray. However Sanford is also a much younger team, so its possible Wray’s maturity puts them over the top. Sanford 55 Wray 50

    Yuma Vs. Fowler- Yuma is a very fun team to watch, and is very technical. On the other hand, I feel like Fowler is possibly the most physical team this year. This one could be the game of the day, however I do feel like Fowler is going to take this one in an extremely close game. Fowler 62 Yuma 60

    Limon vs Peyton- Unfortunately I have not seen Peyton this season, so i am not able to give an accurate opinion regarding their squad. Obviously they made the great 8 so they are a very high level team. Limon is a very good team, both battling on the inside and from the perimeter. I am going with what I have seen and running with the Badgers. Limon 65 Peyton 50.

    Goodluck and congratulations to all teams!

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