RCHS varsity basketball reaches Final Four
The RCHS basketball team after making the buzzer beater win against Grandview High School in the Great Eight competition, which took them to the Final Four for the first time in school history. The final moments of the game were played on ESPN’s SportsCenter.
By Jack Hibbett, RCHS intern writer; photos courtesy of Ryan Casey/CHSAANow.com and RCHS website
Final score: 61 to 19. In the first game of the season, the Rock Canyon High School (RCHS) boys basketball team beat Loveland High School decisively and sent a message to everyone that this was not any ordinary RCHS team. The team continued to thrive throughout the season and ended with a 23-4 record and the school’s first trip to the Final Four!
RCHS basketball had an amazing 2016-2017 season, and it all started with their determination to win. As guard Samuel Masten stated, “We kind of went into the season knowing we could play with the best teams, so I think us being able to go out and prove it each and every night was big for us.”
In the 2012 season, the team had only six wins, but the Jaguars have been steadily improving over the past five years. There is one thing that has stayed the same through thick and thin, and that is coach Kent Grams. Grams has been the motivator behind the school’s turnaround and has recently been recognized for his work. Along with Masten, Grams was selected to attend The Show Colorado, an annual high school basketball all-star game for all of the best players and coaches in Colorado. They both showcased their talents and had fun competing at Metro State University.
RCHS basketball did not just win games, they won them in style. With less than 20 seconds to go in their Great Eight matchup against Grandview High School, RCHS needed to score two points to bring the game into overtime. They went on to not only make a layup to tie the game, but somehow forced a steal and scored a point at the buzzer to take the win. Castle Pines resident and varsity player Nicholas Janedis said, “My favorite moment was having the buzzer beater against Grandview to get to the Final Four.” This sequence of events was absolutely astonishing and awed audiences from around the country when it was displayed on ESPN’s SportsCenter.
An exuberant Rock Canyon student body cheered and flashed the number “four” to indicate the team’s victory that led them to the Final Four.
Unfortunately, Rock Canyon’s run came to an end in the Final Four, but not without a fight. The Jags lost in overtime but came out of the game proud of their accomplishments and their team’s growth throughout the season. Tyson Gilbert said, “I think we got better each game we played, and the games we played during the regular season really prepared us to make the type of run that we had in the postseason.” Final score: 61 to 60.