Colby, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–It was a tough first day for Scott City on Thursday at the Colby Community Building. The Lady Beavers knew it would be a challenge against one of the top teams in Class 4A in Colorado in Pueblo East, but lost a tough battle 60-50, while the Scott City boys trailed big early, but couldn’t complete the comeback in a 65-57 loss to Fountain Ft. Carson.
On paper, many would look at the matchup and figure that Pueblo East would be the easy winner. The No. 3 ranked team in Class 4A in Colorado would be pushed to the brink by an improved Scott City team. There would be 10 lead changes and seven ties in the game. The Lady Eagles led 13-11 after the first quarter, when the Lady Beavers responded with a 14-point second quarter to take a 25-24 halftime lead, leading by as many as five in the first half. The teams trade leads in the third quarter, and ended up in a tie at 39 after three quarters. Pueblo East (10-1) put the pressure on in the fourth quarter scoring the first seven points of the period, and nine consecutive overall, as they led 46-39 with 6:25 remaining. Scott City (5-5) battled back, as the pulled to within 48-46 with 4:31 left in the game. After that, the Eagles scored eight of the next 10 points, and went 13-18 at the free throw line in the fourth quarter to extend build their lead to the biggest at the end at 60-50. Pueblo East only had five players score, with three in double figures, led by Riley Harding with 19 points, Kayla Albo with 17, and Nastassja Rubio with 10. The Lady Eagles were 18-27 at the foul line, and committed 20 turnovers. Emily Weathers led the Lady Beavers with 14 points. Scott City finished with 24 turnovers and were 9-13 at the charity line. Pueblo East has now won all three games in the series. The Lady Beavers are now 23-41 all time in the Orange & Black, and have now lost 13 consecutive tournament openers in Colby since 2005.
Scott City has had a tough stretch entering the Orange & Black, dropping three consecutive games. Thursday’s game didn’t get any easier, as Fountain Fort Carson started out scoring the first eight points, before the Beavers got on the board. The Beavers would pull to within 11-9 late in the first quarter, when it looked like they had settled in. Unfortunately, the Trojans would get hot from the floor. After an and-one by Bo Hess with 5:29 left int he half. Fountain Fort Carson (4-9) blitzed Scott City with a 14-3 run in the final 5:15 of the half to take a 30-15 lead. Following a 33-17 lead by the Trojans with 6:56 remaining in the third, the Beavers would pick up the intensity and start clawing back into the game. Scott City (5-5) used a 14-4 run to get to 37-31 with with 1:10 left in the third quarter. The Trojans scored the final two points of the third quarter, and scored the first four points of the fourth to lead 46-34 with 7:12 remaining. After that, the Beavers had one final surge. They used a 10-1 run to get to within 50-46 with 4:25 left in the game. Fountain Fort Carson scored the next six points, and never looked back. The Trojans went 12-15 in the fourth quarter at the foul line, and picked up their fourth win of the year in an upset. TJ Lucero led the way with 23 points, hitting his first eight shots attempted from the floor, while Malcolm Williams added 20. The Trojans committed 16 turnovers and were 17-21 at the charity line. Scott City got 20 points from Bo Hess, 16 from Jordan Horn and 10 by Marshal Faurot. The Beavers had 11 turnovers, eight in the first half, and were 13-17 at the foul line. The loss by Scott City ended a 14-game winning streak in the Orange & Black, that started in the consolation semi-finals in 2010. They also fall to 30-16 all-time in the tournament. The brief series between the Beavers and Trojans is now tied at one game apiece.
Assistant Coach Alex Hutchins Postgame
Other scores from Thursday on the girls side saw Falcon knock off the two-time defending tournament champions Pine Creek 41-34, Colby blast Lotus School of Excellence 48-11, and Kearney Catholic dominate Fountain Fort Carson 62-31. On the boys side, Hays was stunned by Falcon 63-60 in overtime, Far Northeast defeated Pine Creek 58-48, and Colby knocked off Lotus School of Excellence 66-58.
Friday’s schedule on the consolation side at Colby High School has the Scott City girls against Pine Creek at 3, Scott City boys vs Hays at 4:45, Lotus School of Excellence vs Fountain Ft. Carson girls at 6:30, and Pine Creek boys vs Lotus School of Excellence at 8:15. On the championship side at the Colby Community Building, the Pueblo East girls face Falcon at 3, Falcon boys take on Fountain Fort Carson at 4:45, the Colby girls take on Kearney Catholic at 6:30, and Far Northeast boys take on Colby at 8:15.