Cards defeat Hoehne, move on to consol final
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
PUEBLO ” Grand Valley’s boys basketball players honored coach Scott Kiburis’ halftime challenge to play less selfishly, coming together in the second half to beat Hoehne 46-37 in the consolation semifinals of the Class 2A state tournament on Friday.
” I tell you what, the first half we played really selfishly,” Kiburis said. ” We can’t play that way. The style of basketball we play, it’s really evident when we do play selfishly. So we talked about it at halftime that that’s not how we want to be remembered.”
All the things the Cardinals didn’t do in the first half ” like swing the ball around the perimeter and waiting for highest-percentage shot ” they did in the second half against the Farmers.
Grand Valley, which came to Colorado State-Pueblo as the top seed in the eight-team state tourney, connected on four third-quarter 3-pointers to turn a 24-22 halftime lead into a 35-24 lead by the 2 minute, 31 second mark.
William Waugh got the ball rolling with back-to-back 3-pointers to start the half and the shots finally started falling for the defending state champion Cardinals, who fell out of repeat title contention with a 41-39 loss to eight-seeded Sedgwick County in Thursday’s state opener.
Waugh, who finished with 10 points, credited Kiburis’ intermission rant with firing the team up.
” It brought us together,” he said. ” It got us pumped up for the game. We passed the ball around a little more. We didn’t just throw up shots. Instead of taking a good shot, we passed it up for a better shot.”
Grand Valley (21-4) ended the third quarter up 38-30 and used a ball-control offense and a 5-for-8 clip at the free-throw line to hold Hoehne (20-5) off in the fourth.
” [Our kids] made a great adjustment in the second half and they worked together,” Kiburis said. ” It wasn’t a perfect game but they played hard.”
Colton Cowan led the Cardinals with 12 points. Michael Shepard and Tyler Jensen added nine points apiece for Grand Valley, which had plenty to prove despite misfiring on their primary goal ” repeating as state champs.
It just took the Cardinals a little while to find their focus.
” We came here all wanting that gold ball,” Jensen said. ” It was almost like we didn’t want to play today because we weren’t playing for what we wanted to play for. Today, we kind of snapped out of that and realized we need to bring something home to the Western Slope while we have a chance.”
What Grand Valley can bring home from Pueblo is a fifth-place state finish. The Cards will have to get past Holyoke in today’s 11:30 a.m. consolation final to do that.
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