FORT COLLINS — Hate to sound like a broken record Broomfield fans, but you had them right where you wanted them.
One night after the girls came oh-so-close in the Choice City against Fossil Ridge in the Class 5A second round upset bid, so too did the boys on Saturday night.
The 43rd-seeded Eagles, fresh off a huge first round victory in Grand Junction against Central (G.J.), continued to play with nothing to lose against a Lambkins team that had beaten them by 12 points earlier this month.
Early in the fourth quarter it was a 56-54 Fort Collins lead, when things went south. The 11th-seeded Lambkins went on a 14-2 run to give themselves some much-needed separation and went on to win 79-66.
"They are a great team and they shot the snot out of the ball and I though we executed what we wanted to do," said Broomfield coach Terrence Dunn, whose young team — graduating just three seniors — finishes 11-14. "We shared the ball offensively and we played really hard defensively and they still found ways to score.
"We got it to two points, and they took care of their business. They are a veteran team and they do a good job."
Fort Collins (21-3) will get to host a Sweet 16 game in the Guys Gibbs Region next week against No. 27 Arapahoe. The Warriors went to Colorado Springs and dispatched of the No. 6-seeded Doherty Spartans.
The frenetic pace of the game in the first half, something Broomfield has enjoyed all season, seemed to play right into the hands of the Lambkins. Fort Collins scored on nearly every shot it threw up, including eight first half 3-pointers.
Still as hot as the Lambkins were, Broomfield was only down 41-33 at the break and nibbled into that lead through much of the third quarter, when senior Sam Foster (12 points, 10 in the second half) was finally able to get some open looks.
The Eagles were creative offensively and were able to get a lot of looks in the paint. The primary beneficiary was senior Mason Keeler, who finished with a season high 19 points. Senior Spencer Wolff also chipped in with 11 points.
"It didn't really show in our scores, but we had practiced really well each of the last three weeks," Dunn said. "We showed a lot more maturity and intelligence and we just played a lot better down the stretch and made some strides."
Said Keeler, who will play football next season at Wyoming: "We went out with a bang. But like Spencer says, it was the best of times and the worst of times and sometimes things get away from you."
The main antagonist for the Eagles on Saturday night was Fort Collins senior Jacob Pfaffinger. He poured in a season high 32 points on a dazzling array of dribble drives past defenders as well as a beautiful jump shot that couldn't miss.
In addition to Pfaffinger's 32, they also got 15 from Ricky Orozco and 11 from sixth-man Ryan Oligmueller.
"They are all tough to defend. They can all shoot, they can all handle the ball and the best thing about them is they don't care who scores," Dunn said. "They are a good team."
FORT COLLINS 79, BROOMFIELD 66
At Fort Collins
Justin Berry 1 1-2 3, Sam Foster 5 1-1 12, Steven Croell 2 2-4 6, Michael Georgiton 3 1-1 7, Mason Keeler 8 2-2 19, Tanner Garner 3 0-1 8, Spencer Wolff 5 1-1 11. Totals 27 8-12 66.
FORT COLLINS (21-3)
Damien Murillo 2 1-4 6, Ricky Orozco 4 3-5 15, Ryan Oligmueller 3 2-3 11, Ben Titelbaum 0 0-0 0, Iseri Palacio 2 2-2 6, Jonathan Guay 0 0-0 0, Brian Read 2 2-2 7, Carson Huelle 0 0-0 0, Jake Leone 0 0-0 0, Jacob Pfaffinger 11 8-9 32, Sam Tiley 1 0-0 2. Totals 25 18-25 79.
Score by quarters:Broomfield 17 16 19 14 — 66
Fort Collins 20 21 15 23 — 79
3-point field goals — Broomfield (4): Garner 2, Foster, Keeler; Fort Collins (11): Orozco 4, Oligmueller 3, Pfaffinger 2, Murillo, Read. Total fouls — Broomfield 18, Fort Collins 14. Fouled out — Garner..