BROOMFIELD — The Holy Family boys basketball team led the entire way Tuesday night, but nothing came easy for them in their 33-30 win over the Skyline Falcons to complete the season series sweep.
Up 31-27 with a minute to go, the Falcons' Austin Robison hit a critical 3-pointer for SHS to cut the Holy Family lead down to one. After Skyline recorded seven consecutive fouls to reach the bonus, Tanner Baird hit two free throws to put the Tigers back up by three with 16 seconds remaining.
A play for Gage Robertson was drawn up by Skyline to get the tying points, but his shot bounced off the rim. The Falcons would get another chance with 0.3 seconds left, but a desperation 3-pointer came up short.
It was a sigh of relief for Holy Family, who remains in position to share the Tri-Valley League title in the final week of the regular season. That comes Thursday in a head-to-head battle with Mead.
"We knew (Skyline) was going to come out here ready since we beat them at their house already," Holy Family's Dominic Nellis said. "We had to stick to our game plan, which was getting in the paint and holding on to the ball."
The Tigers were able to reach 49 points in the first meeting with the Falcons on Jan. 22 but were unable to find similar success on offense in the rematch. In addition to the missed shots that could have put the game away, Skyline tried slowing the game to a stand-still pace early, using over a minute of possession time on their first offensive set and continuing to play slow and methodical.
With limited chances to score, Nellis proved to be the guy to get things going early. He found Adam Jolly for the first two points of the game with a no-look pass and hit a 3-pointer shortly after for the first five points of the game. His night included five assists — a few coming by way of no-look passes — to his teammates inside.
"I was just looking to get it to my guys and find the open man," Nellis said. "Adam, Kyle (Helbig) and Tanner were open and they all were running the court well."
A few more assists from Nellis inside saw Holy Family go up by as many as 11 points in the second quarter, and they seemed to be on their way to a decent win. That was until the Falcons started to hit with Robison and Robertson in the second half, helping them cut the lead down to four points in the third and one in the fourth late.
In the end, the Tigers got the number of stops needed to win the low-scoring game, including on the 3-point attempt from Robertson with five seconds remaining that sealed it.
"We're used to keeping teams below their averages," Nellis said. "We're a real disciplined team. We like to play defense and we're known for it."
Tuesday was the second time this season the Tigers held Skyline to 30 points in a win. They also limited the Falcons to just three players scoring in the game.
With the sweep of Skyline complete, Holy Family will finish either in a tie for first, or in second place, in the TVL. All eyes now turn to a huge rematch with the Mavericks on the road Thursday as the Tigers will try to avenge their 50-45 loss back on Jan. 24. A win for Mead would secure it the conference title outright following their 88-48 win over Erie on Tuesday.
It's a game HFHS will not need extra motivation for, according to Nellis.
"Can't wait for it," Nellis said. "It's going to be a good challenge at their house. We're ready to compete."
Holy Family 33, Skyline 30
At Holy Family High School
SKYLINE (14-8, 11-4)
Austin Robison 5 0-0 13, Gage Robertson 4 1-2 11, Adrian Compian 2 0-0 6. Totals 11 1-2 30.
HOLY FAMILY (18-3, 13-1)
Adam Jolly 6 0-0 12, Tanner Baird 3 2-2 6, Kyle Helbig 2 0-0 5, Garrett Green 2 0-0 5, Dominic Nellis 1 0-0 3. Totals 14 2-2 33.
Score by quarters:Skyline (14-8, 11-4) 2 9 10 9 — 30
3-point field goals — Skyline(7): Robison 3, Robertson 2, Campian 2; Holy Family(3): Nellis, Helbig, Green. Total fouls — Skyline 7, Holy Family 7. Fouled out — None. Technical fouls — None.