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FFC can't overcome big deficits, sees basketball season end in loss to Heritage
Fountain-Fort Carson played its best and most desperate basketball when facing a pair of 21-point deficits – one in each half – Saturday against Heritage in a 5A second-round playoff game.
Unfortunately, the Trojans (15-8) couldn’t find their way to the surface from either, and the Eagles (14-11) weathered both storms to claim a 75-66 road victory that sent them to round of 16 road game Tuesday at Denver East.
“We never got traction,” Trojans second-year coach Greg Williams said. “We got ourselves in a couple of different holes and tried to work back but couldn’t push over the top. I’ve got to give it to Heritage. They shot lights out and had a good night by shooting the ball really well.”
Davis, one of six Trojans seniors, scored nine of his 18 points during a ferocious fourth-quarter comeback attempt. Trailing 68-47 with 4:56 left in the game, Davis scored on a three-point play, converted two steals into layups and triggered a 19-3 run that brought Trojans to within 71-66 with 29 seconds left.
Al Davis, Anthony’s twin brother, led the Trojans with 21 points.
In the first half, Fountain-Fort Carson found itself behind 33-12 before cutting the deficit to 10 with a quick 11-0 run. With three minutes elapsed in the third quarter, the Trojans were right back in it, trailing only 41-36 after a Jordan Rhodes layup.
Both times, Littleton-based Heritage found a way to keep its composure and withstand the rally. Not bad for a team that couldn’t win one league game two seasons ago.
The Eagles, under first-year coach Jentry Byleveld, have the fewest wins, along with Cherry Creek, of any of the 16 teams still alive for the 5A crown. In three previous seasons, Heritage won 15 games combined, hitting rock bottom with a 2-16 thud in 2009-10, going winless in eight Continental League games.
“The program was a big mess,” Ziegler said. “We found players who wanted to work hard and do the best they can to make a difference. We just knew we had to come out fast and aggressive and attack right away.”
The Eagles hit nine 3-pointers and utilized 6-foot-11 center Ryan Singer to create matchup problems all night, and prevented the Trojans from establishing a low-post game.
Offensively, they could do little wrong. Heritage connected on four 3-pointers in the first quarter and made 8 of 12 shots in building a quick 20-10 lead. It was more of the same after that, ending the game with nine 3-pointers and shooting a sizzling 62 percent from the field (23 of 37).
“We definitely didn’t think they’d shoot like that,” Anthony Davis said. “We wanted to limit their big man, but he kicked it out and they were hitting their outside shots. It was one of those nights where they were hitting everything, and we were missing everything. But we didn’t play very good defense at times.”