It was the perfect, ugly storm for the Cedaredge boys basketball team during the regional tournament in their home gym.
The No. 5 Bruins had one of their worst defensive halves of the season during the second half of their matchup with No. 28 Strasburg and it was coupled with Cedaredge’s poorest shooting outing of the season. It ultimately amounted to a season-ending 71-59 loss for the Bruins.
“They played an out-of-their-minds type game,” Cedaredge coach Lane Varner said of his opponents. “I watched them the next day and you could see the difference. But beyond that, we weren’t good enough on the defensive end in the second half. We gave up 28 and 23 points in the third and fourth quarters, and if you go back through the season, I don’t know how many times we’ve done that.
“We were also 2-for-28 on 3s and, heck, if we shoot even 25%, we probably win that game.”
The Indians lost 65-54 to No. 21 SkyView Academy in the regional championship, sending the Highlands Ranch public charter school to the state championship tournament this weekend.
Cedaredge led by four points after one quarter, a lead they carried into the halftime break. But a 12-point swing in the third quarter was too much of a mountain for the Bruins to climb in the fourth quarter.
Gideon Gilmore led Cedaredge with 13 points, while Kevin Barron added 12 points and Luke Maxey finished with 10 points.
The Bruins will lose six seniors off the roster, including three starters, but will likely bring back Maxey as their leading scorer next season. Varner said this class of seniors has set up the program for future success.
“We were 18-4 this season and 14-8 last season,” the coach said. “That’s 32 wins over the past two years with me and that’s a level of success Cedaredge basketball hasn’t had in 20-some years. These guys were leaders and competitors.
“Gosh darn it, I hate to go out this way. I was sick for two days after. You wish you’d played a little better or shot a bit better, but I’m still extremely proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish.”
The No. 31 Bruins fell behind 21-3 after the first quarter and ultimately lost to No. 2 Centauri 55-13, ending their season on a six-game losing streak. The Falcons also topped Olathe 42-34 to advance to the Great 8.
The postseason experience could be extremely valuable, however, as Cedaredge will lose only two players to graduation and will likely return four of its top five scorers.
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