WINDSOR — The Windsor boys basketball team faced plenty of adversity Wednesday night. More importantly, they persevered earning a close 61-52 victory over Broomfield in the first round of the Class 4A state basketball tournament.
Windsor will travel to Pueblo to play No. 4 Thomas Jefferson in the second round of the tournament Friday.
From the start it was not going to be an easy victory for the fifth-seeded Wizards (16-8 overall). Broomfield (7-17) came into the contest having won four of its last six games and was a confident 12th seed.
The Eagles’ offense performed well in the first quarter and wasn’t intimidated in front of a spirited Windsor crowd. Many players got to the rim consistently and as a result got to the free throw line. Senior guard Alec McLain made the most of his early opportunities, cashing in on four free throws, two of which gave the Eagles a 14-13 lead late in the quarter.
Broomfield’s defense played well in the first quarter as well, shutting down Windsor’s leading scorer Dalton Walker. After an early 3-pointer, the senior got into foul trouble and sat out much of the first half.
“A huge part of our plan was trying to limit (Walker) as much as we could and make other people score,” Broomfield coach Terrence Dunn said.
With a slim 17-14 lead to begin the second quarter, Windsor’s offense went cold. The Wizards managed just five second-quarter points while Broomfield’s offense heated up.
McLain hit a 3-pointer to begin the quarter and teammates Zach Grennan and Jake Burgesser added baskets of their own. At the 4 minute, 22 second mark, McLain was left open for a 3 which put the Eagles ahead by six, 24-17. The Wizards were down by eight at the break.
Windsor wouldn’t let the early deficit tarnish its play in the second half.
“We knew we were down. None of us were hanging our heads,” Windsor senior Zach Peck said of the team’s mindset at halftime. “We were still very positive. We knew we were in this and that all we had to do was come out and be firing in the third quarter.”
The Wizards did just that. While they didn’t run away with the game in the quarter, they kept the pressure on the Eagles. The momentum of the Wizards slowly shifted when Broomfield committed four consecutive fouls. Dunn believes his team was never quite the same after those calls.
“I think we came out with a decent mindset (after halftime). Maybe we relaxed too much but I think the four fouls … definitely we felt like we were in a hole and I don’t think we recovered from that very well,” Dunn said.
Windsor found its rhythm in the third quarter thanks in large part to strong 3-point shooting and unselfish play. Junior Tanner Bohm hit two big 3-pointers and senior Matthew Thiemman added one of his own. Peck fully regained the Wizards’ momentum with seconds left in the quarter after he used the backboard to complete a two-point shot, giving Windsor a narrow 42-40 lead heading into the final quarter.
Early in the fourth, Walker ensured the momentum would stay with Windsor. On Broomfield’s first possession, he darted to the top of the key, intercepted a pass and converted a layup which brought the excited Windsor crowd to a fever pitch.
He didn’t stop there. The forward made his impact from the charity stripe. Walker was a perfect 10 of 10 in the final quarter, and finished the game with 17 points. All of this despite sitting out the majority of the first half with three personal fouls.
“Go to the steal he had in the fourth or the block (in the fourth quarter). He does other things that help our team get the victory,” Windsor coach Dustin Duncan said. “That’s what we have to do. Right now it’s about playing together as a group and that’s what we have to do.”
BHS 14 16 10 12 — 52
WHS 17 5 20 19 — 61
BHS — Alec McLain 4, 4-4 15, Zach Grennan, 1, 0-0 2, Michael Wristen 4 4-5 12, Jake Morris 1, 0-0, 2 Nate Lehnerz 5, 2-2 13 Josh Williamson 1, 2-2 4 Jake Burgesser 2 0-0 4 Totals 18 12-13 52
WHS — Dalton Walker 3 10-10 17 Landon Schmidt 3 2-2 9, Drew Bunday 1, 0-0 2, Viktor Kaiser 3 2-4 8 Matthew Thiemann 3 2-2 10, Tanner Bohm 3,0-3, 8 Zach Peck 2, 1-2, 5, David Watson 0 2-2, 2. Totals 18, 19-25 61
Team Fouls — BHS 18; WHS 12
3-point field goals — BHS 4 (Lehnerz 1, McLain 3); WHS 6 (Schmidt 1, Walker 1, Thiemann 2, Bohm 2)