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GREELEY – For the second straight year the Prairie View ThunderHawks boys basketball team has made it to the postseason playoffs. Unfortunately, for the second straight time, the Hawks fell …
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GREELEY – For the second straight year the Prairie View ThunderHawks boys basketball team has made it to the postseason playoffs. Unfortunately, for the second straight time, the Hawks fell short.
PVHS was defeated Wednesday, 68-56, by a tall, tough, talented Northridge squad. Northridge moved on to face Wheat Ridge Saturday.
From the opening buzzer, the Hawks and Grizzlies took off on a fast-paced offensive attack at both ends of the hardwoods. After one, the Griz held a 16-12 lead with three-pointers being the norm for scoring from both teams.
PVHS had a chance to even the score at 23 halfway through the second quarter. But the layup rolled off the rim, and the Grizzly attach become fierce. The PVHS 2-3 defense couldn’t stop the hot shooting from the outside and the offensive mistakes – turnovers and forced passing errors – kept giving the ball back to Northridge without adding tallies to the Hawks' total.
“Three years. That’s how old our program is, and two years we’ve been to the state playoffs,” Coach Tim DeBerry said after the game. “I can’t complain. The four seniors helped start this program, and we battled everybody this year.”
The seniors are Andrew Lucero, Eddie Powell, Marty Williams and Ryan McDaniel.
The seven-point halftime deficit stretched to 12 in the third quarter with enough bricks thrown up by both teams in the middle portion of the period to build another gymnasium. Eventually, Northridge found the range and pushed the lead to a dozen.
“We let down on our D and the threes fell,” Williams said of his team’s performance in the third quarter. “We weren’t communicating. We played tough, but there in the third we let up. Still, we were determined to finish hard.”
And finish strong they did. PVHS found a rhythm in the fourth quarter and narrowed the Northridge lead to seven before the Grizzlies simply stopped the fast pace of the game and spread out the offense to kill the clock. PVHS was chasing, but not catching, the corner passing game from Northridge.
With two minutes left, PVHS still had an outside chance of finding a playoff win. With their coach yelling from the bench, “ Foul. Foul. You gotta foul,” the Hawks tried to regain control of the game.
“We worked hard to get here as a team,” Lucero said of his teammates after the game. “We helped each other best we could.”
And his advice to the underclassmen who will be next year’s leaders – “Communicate.”
“It starts in practice,” Lucero said.
“Tonight, we didn’t get all those pieces together,” Powell added, as he and his teammates headed to the locker room for the last time.
DeBerry gave credit to Northridge for their win Wednesday night.
“”They shoot the ball well. They don’t have an inside game to speak of, but as long as they shoot the way they did tonight, they should face up well against Wheat Ridge Saturday,” DeBerry said.
Next year, DeBerry said he will look to point guard Erik Fritch, post Derrick Ward and Galen Samson to anchor his squad.
“That’s where we’ll start. Eric is a good point guard and Derrick was a beast tonight under the basket. We’ll be back.”
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