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Boys basketball: Holy Family routs Manitou Springs for return to 3A Great Eight

BROOMFIELD — There’s no “D” in “Holy Family” but don’t tell that to the Manitou Springs boys basketball team.

With superb defense, the Tigers held their Sweet 16 playoff opponent to nine points over the last three-plus quarters Saturday to earn a return tip to the quarterfinals of the 3A state tournament.

The 48-21 home victory over the Mustangs marked the fewest points Holy Family has allowed since its Nov. 30 season opener.

“That was one of our best efforts of the season,” said junior Devlin Granberg, who matched his season high with 15 points on Saturday. “These guys (Manitou Springs) came out fighting, but something just happened right there. We just turned it on defensively. Coach said turn up the heat. We just went to another level. Our seniors got on us and said, ‘Lock ’em down’ and that’s what we did.”

Saturday marked the 20th win of the season for third-seeded Holy Family (20-4), which made it to the 3A state semifinals last season as the 10th seed. In Thursday’s quarterfinals at Moby Arena in Fort Collins, the Tigers will face upstart Eaton (15-9). The 22nd-seeded Reds pulled off their second upset in as many days by ousting sixth-seeded Alamosa 39-28 on Saturday.

Holy Family defeated Eaton 56-47 on Jan. 4.

Making it back to the 3A state quarterfinals “is fantastic for our kids,” coach Pete Villecco said. “It means we’re starting to develop some consistency as being an elite program.”

And the key has been defense, as the Tigers demonstrated on Saturday, when they allowed 30 or fewer points for the seventh time this season.

Manitou Springs started out decently, holding a 12-8 lead late in the first quarter. But that’s when Holy Family put on the clamps. The Mustangs subsequently scored just four points in the second period, three in the third and two in the fourth.

Manitou Springs (14-10) came in averaging 57.3 points per game this season and it hadn’t scored fewer than 33 before Saturday. In a December loss, the Mustangs tallied 49 points against Holy Family. But on Saturday, Manitou Springs shot just 19.4 percent from the field (7 of 36).

“That’s all about effort,” Holy Family junior David Sommers said. “The coaches and the guys work our tails off during the week in practices. But holding any team to five points in a half is pretty exceptional.”

After trailing 12-8 on Saturday, Holy Family outscored Manitou 40-9.

In their two playoff games so far, the Tigers have allowed an average of just 25.5 points per contest.

“That’s just who we are,” Villecco said. “We’re a defensive team. We preach it every day. We emphasize defense and toughness. That got us to Moby last year. That’s what we hang our hat on. But to hold them to five points in a half, that’s a special effort from our kids.”

And now, a year after pulling off two upsets en route to making it to the final four, Holy Family believes it can make some noise as a much higher seed.

“I think we have a little more confidence this year,” said Sommers, who finished with nine points on Saturday. “Last year, it was ‘deer in the headlights’ a little bit. This year, we’re used to it. We’ll work our butts off to try to get a win.”

Added Granberg: “This is what we’ve been working for. This was our whole goal — to get to Moby. Anything can happen at Moby, and we’re going there to win games. We have confidence this year. It’s not our first time anymore.”


Holy Family 48, Manitou Springs 21

At Holy Family HS


Sienknecht 4 1-2 9, Rodholm 1 0-0 3, Prather 2 0-0 5, Megyeri 0 4-4 4, Lyles 0 0-1 0, Quarry 0 0-0 0. Totals 7 5-7 21.


Granberg 5 4-5 15, Sommers 4 0-0 9, Golter 4 0-0 8, Brown 3 0-2 7, Helbig 1 0-0 3, Hollwedel 2 0-0 4, Comeaux 0 0-0 0, Sprenger 0 0-2 0, Kinoti 0 0-0 0, Atencio 0 2-2 2. Totals 19 6-11 48.

Score by quarters:

Manitou Springs 12 4 3 2 — 21

Holy Family 10 17 10 11 — 48

3-point field goals — Manitou Springs (2): Prather, Rodholm; Holy Family (4): Helbig, Sommers, Brown, Granberg. Total fouls — Manitou Springs 11, Holy Family 13. Fouled out— none. Technical fouls — none.