Pueblo South pulls away late to end Windsor’s season in the Class 4A boys basketball second round
February 25, 2017
PUEBLO — Windsor's boys basketball team remained within striking distance all game but couldn't execute that final opportunistic strike Saturday against powerhouse Pueblo South.
The second-seeded Colts maintained modest leads throughout the game to top No. 34 Windsor 56-47 in the second round of the Class 4A Boys Basketball Championships.
"We could have won that second-round game and really shocked the state," Wizards first-year coach Jon Rakiecki said. "It was a great game. We really had the momentum there with about 4 or 5 minutes to go in the fourth quarter. … Pueblo was sweating it for a while."
The Colts (18-6) closed strong to win their eighth consecutive game and advance to the round of 16.
Windsor wraps up its season with a 12-13 record.
After trailing 17-11 through one quarter, the Wizards methodically chipped away at the early deficit, trailing just 38-35 after three quarters. Windsor took the lead with 5 minutes left but Pueblo South answered with a series of buckets and some free throws down the stretch.
"We really had an opportunity there in the fourth quarter to kind of distance ourselves from them if we had a couple high-quality shot go down," Rakiecki said.
Junior guard Kirk Relford was the Wizards' only double-digit scorer, pouring in 18 points, sinking 4 of 9 field goals and cashing in on all eight of Windsor's free throw attempts.
Senior forward Corte Tapia and junior swingman Tyler Mcginnis scored nine points apiece.
By and large, the Wizards struggled from the field, though, making just 17 of their 49 shots (35 percent). They had just five assists on their made baskets. They also struggled on the boards, grabbing 12 rebounds.
Still, with a gritty defensive effort, Windsor was right in the game until the very end, despite being a heavy underdog.
"The only thing we could say in the locker room after the game was 'thank you' and talk about how proud of an effort we had," Rakiecki said. "We had a tough week. … We were extremely proud of how hard we played for each other."
That tough weeks consisted of plenty of travel and little rest.
Wednesday, the Wizards earned a 51-47 come-from-behind road win against Steamboat Springs in the first round.
After making it to the final 8 last year, Windsor came into the season with just one player with significant varsity experience, Jake Hammond.
"The growth this team experienced from December to February was just amazing to see," Rakiecki said. "That was a really, really fun year for me, and I know the kids had a lot of fun. … It was a great season for us. The team really played for each other."
WHS 11 9 15 12 — 47
PSHS 17 8 13 18 — 56
WHS — Kirk Relford 4 8-8 18, Corte Tapia 4 0-0 9, Tyler Mcginnis 4 0-0 9, Jake Hammond 3 0-0 7, Nate Huntsman 1 0-0 2, Andy Evans 1 0-0 2, Brennen Seyboldt 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 8-8 47
3-point field goals — WHS 5 (Relford 2, Hammond, Mcginnis, Tapia).
Total fouls — WHS 15 (Hammond fouled out).