AURORA - It wasn't the bookend climax to the best season in school history the Dawson School wanted ... or thought would occur.
"That's a good way to put it," senior Nick Timms said.
The Mustangs went down in the Class 2A regionals on Saturday at Vista PEAK and were way down afterward. They fell to Fowler 46-37, didn't advance to this week's quarterfinals and were baffled by their performance.
Dawson fired blanks and threw passes away like they were trash, yet somehow stayed in the game into the final minutes. Don't ask the Mustangs how.
"We really didn't come out well, we didn't hit our shots like we normally do," Timms said. "We just couldn't get any in."
Said coach Tobin Skenandore: "It's tough. When you play the way we played all season long, then have a game like that ... a pebble in a shoe and that's tough."
The Mustangs finished 19-4. In their first quarter of the season, they opened with a goose egg in a 54-34 loss to Yuma. On Saturday, they fell behind 8-0, missed their first eight shots, had six turnovers and didn't make a basket until a minute remained in the quarter. They also didn't make a basket in the fourth quarter until there was just 2:08 to play.
'We just couldn't kick it into gear," Timms said.
Further salt in the Dawson wounds - Fowler (20-3) missed 22 free throws and the Mustangs had three players foul out.
"Some days we're going to hit our shots; some days we're not," Skenandore said. "When you're an outside shooting team and you go inside once in a while ... Sometimes they fall and sometimes they don't."
For the game, Dawson shot 11-of-44 and missed them all, 3-pointers, layups, follow-ups ... and it was guilty of 21 turnovers.
The Mustangs' only other senior, Bryce Bickel, was their lone double-figure scorer with 10 points.
"It was definitely different coming out and playing a team we had never seen," Timms said.
However, he's sure he will eventually appreciate what this particular team accomplished.
"I mean, it feels great to do that," he added. "It just a tough way to end it, obviously, with a game like that. We just couldn't get anything going. We had (three) players foul out, so it's hard to do anything. I don't like blaming it on anything, but (stuff) happens."
Skenandore, whose team trailed by just five points entering the fourth quarter, chose to look forward.
"I like to think when it rains, it pours ... sometimes that happens," he said. "We didn't do the things we've been doing all season to get us where we were supposed to be.
"The best part of this is for the future. We have a goal that we're working towards and standards for next year to what we're trying to do and build upon."
Fowler 46, Dawson School 37
At Vist PEAK Prep
B. Sharp 0 2-5 2, Flansca 0 3-7 3, Proctor 4 12-18 21, Reed 6 1-9 13, Juul 3 1-2 7, Denton 0 0-0 0, Hershey 0 0-0 0, Mobbley 0 0-0 0, Mason 0 0-0 0, D. Sharp 0 0-0 0, Unruh 0 0-0 0, Coffman 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 19-41 46.
Shams 1 1-2 3, Bickel 3 2-2 10, J. Grant-Krenz 2 0-0 6, Pure 2 0-2 6, Timms 1 2-4 4, Burridge 2 0-0 6, Watts 0 0-0 0, Day 0 2-3 2, Fulkerson 0 0-0 0, C. Grant-Krenz 0 0-0 0. Totals 11-13 37.
Score by quarters:Fowler 8 9 13 16 — 46
Dawson School 5 11 19 12 — 37
3-point field goals — Proctor; Bickel 2, Burridge 2, Grant-Krenz 2, Pure 2. Fouled out — J. Grant-Krenz, Shams, Timms. Technical fouls — Pure.