Boys basketball: No. 3 Holy Family downs Colorado Academy in OT

DENVER — There are moments every coach knows his team has the edge in the game. For Pete Villecco that instant came just before Holy Family headed into overtime.

“The guys were huddling up just after regulation and they were telling each other ‘We’ve got this, we’ve been here before,” the coach of the third-ranked Tigers said.

Holy Family (14-2, 6-0) stayed good to its word in the extra minutes, outlasting No. 5 Colorado Academy (13-2, 4-2) to remain undefeated in 3A Metro League play. And similar to the team’s first overtime game of the season at Peak to Peak, the Tigers turned to their defense to earn the win.

The Tigers came off the court with a 64-57 win against their hosts, holding the Mustangs to three points in overtime. The stalwart effort gave Holy Family enough time to rebuild a head of steam on offense.

Jarron Sprenger sparked one of Holy Family’s biggest runs of the game in the final minute-and-a-half of play off a jumper. The basket gave the Tigers their final lead and initiated an 8-1 run to ice the win.

“That makes it two for us now in overtime,” said Sprenger, one of four Tigers to break into double digits. “I was nervous heading into overtime, but I’m nervous every game.”

The finish was more dramatic than Villecco figured it was going to be heading into the fourth. Then again, with the way his team was playing up to that point the coach had every right to believe Holy Family had the win sewed up.

David Sommers was well on his way to a game-high 18 points heading into the final period. And Holy Family’s defense had the Mustangs coming up lame the previous two quarters with a combined 19 points.

The little things, however, came back to bite Holy Family.

“We didn’t make it easy on ourselves with layups and free throws,” Villecco said.

The lull was all one of the Metro League’s most dynamic offenses required to shoot its way back into the game. The Mustangs chipped away at the score until a 3-pointer by Christian Hyatt gave the team its first lead since the second period.

Despite Colorado Academy coming back in the end Holy Family did a respectable job slowing down its scoring. But even with their success, the Tigers came off the court with respect for what their opponents were capable of.

“They have three freshman that are really talented players,” Sprenger said. “It was a good win for us.”

The victory also keeps Holy Family in the hunt for a crack at the Metro League title, which has the potential to come down to the final game of the season. The only other undefeated team in conference is No. 1 Kent Denver, which matches up with the Tigers in the final game of the season.

Even with the potential for a dramatic end, Villecco believes his team is on the right track. To the coach, the Tigers are more than hungry for success.

“We’re starving for it,” he said.

Follow Elwood on Twitter @ElwoodKShelton.


Holy Family 64, Colorado Academy 57

At Colorado Academy HS

HOLY FAMILY (14-2, 5-0)

Hollwedel 3 3-7 10, Sprenger 7 1-2 15, Sommers 7 2-4 18, Willis 3 3-4 9, Golter 0 1-2 1, Grandberg 3 3-5 10. Totals 23 13-24 64.


Bortz 1 0-0 2, Buckmelter 3 6-6 13, Kuelling 1 1-2 4, Hyatt 4 3-4 11, Parker 1 0-2 2, Grisweld 1 0-0 2, Bassey 5 6-7 16, Rivera 2 0-0 5. Totals 18 16-21 57.

Score by quarters:

Holy Family 16 14 13 11 10 — 64

Colorado Academy 18 8 11 17 3 — 57

3-point field goals — Holy Family (4): Hollwedel 2, Sommers 2; Holy Family (5): Buckmelter, Kuelling, Hyatt 2, Rivera. Total fouls — Holy Family 17, Colorado Academy 21. Fouled out — Hyatt. Technical fouls — Hyatt.