Paonia and Hotchkiss played a close game Friday — Hotchkiss scoring most of its points from inside, led in scoring by Mason Oxford with a game-high nine field goals and 18 points; and Paonia's Ben Linnell hitting four of the team's five three-point shots for a team-high 15 points.
But Hotchkiss, fueled by goals by Oxford and Taylor Shreiner down the stretch, claimed the win to advance to Saturday's finals.
Paonia had a slim 11-10 lead to end the first period. Jason Sturgis opened the second with a field goal, and Schreiner and Oxford combined for five points and a Bulldog lead.
Paonia shot three of five from the line, and three-point combinations by Taylor Walters and Josiah Spano gave Paonia a 24-18 lead at the half.
Oxford hit three field goals and Schreiner added one to give Hotchkiss a 28-26 lead in the third. Eagle Jason Sturgis scored four of his six game points in the third to end the period in a 34-34 tie.
Linnell opened the fourth with a trey, and Paonia took a 39-35 lead. Oxford and Schreiner each put four more points on the board for Hotchkiss. Josh Hardin scored from the paint early in the period, then drew a shooting foul with 1:40 to go. Hardin was 2-2 to give Hotchkiss a 47-43 lead. Cody Bartlett, who scored nine for the Bulldogs, drew a shooting foul for a final trip to the line, shooting 2-2 to put the win out of reach for Paonia with less than 10 seconds remaining on the clock. Linnell sank his final three-pointer at the buzzer to end the game at 49-46, Hotchkiss.
Hotchkiss and Paonia will meet again on Jan. 5 at Paonia.blog comments powered by Disqus