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Boys basketball: Valor Christian’s last-second 3 sinks Broomfield in 4A semifinals

Broomfield's Alec McLain stands in disbelief after Valor Christian topped BHS 75-74 on a late 3-pointer in the Class 4A state semifinals at the Coors Events Center.
MARK LEFFINGWELL
Broomfield’s Alec McLain stands in disbelief after Valor Christian topped BHS 75-74 on a late 3-pointer in the Class 4A state semifinals at the Coors Events Center.

BOULDER — The Final Four has had a nasty way of catching teams off guard. After Friday afternoon, that is a fact with which Broomfield boys basketball is all too familiar.

The Eagles stumbled for a second consecutive season in the Class 4A semifinals at the Coors Events Center. But what was so stinging about this year’s loss deep in the brackets is that BHS all but had its first berth to the state finals since 2004 in the bag.

Broomfield fell 75-74 to Valor Christian after leading the entire game — until the final seconds.

“It looked good for a while there,” Broomfield guard Evan Kihn said. “But they won the game.”

The victory sent Valor into Saturday’s championship game vs. defending state champion Lewis Palmer.

After losing in last year’s semifinals like Broomfield, Valor (22-4) won Friday in miraculous fashion off a desperation shot by one of its reserves.

The team took its first and final lead off of Luke Proctor’s only shot of the game. The Valor guard knocked down a 3-pointer with less than five seconds to go when his team found him all alone in the corner, leaving the Broomfield players’ jaws scraping the court. While the play was picture-perfect, the senior guard promised it was developed on the fly.

“We didn’t really have anything drawn up,” Proctor said. “We were trying to get (Chase Foster) the ball. But when I got the ball, I knew I had to take the shot.”

The play capped a 31-point period for Valor and erased a lead Broomfield had held since the first basket of the game. The Eagles were more than shocked by the rally their opponents staged after entering the fourth with plenty of confidence.

Broomfield had every right to like the position it was in –up by double digits off a 24-point third period. And it was once again getting strong showings across the roster that had the Eagles flying high all season long.

Alec McLain alone had Broomfield humming, coming out of the first 24 minutes of play with 19 points. And he was en route to be one of four Eagles to break into double digits. But even with the team hitting on all cylinders, there was some cause for concern.

“I was pretty comfortable with where we sat going into the fourth,” McLain said. “But I wasn’t sure about how we were handling their press.”

The junior’s worries turned out to be prophetic, because it was Valor’s defensive pressure that initially swung the game. The team drew within striking distance of Broomfield off a string of three turnovers at the beginning of the fourth.

Once Valor got within seven points, Broomfield started to hit the panic button and nothing seemed to go right. The worst of it was losing track of Foster, who was able to rattle off 14 points in the period after being held to 11 up at that point. That run included a foul on the forward that allowed him to hit three free throws to set up Proctor’s game-winning shot.

“We didn’t take care of the ball down the stretch, we didn’t make the shots we needed down the stretch and we didn’t get the stops we needed down the stretch,” Broomfield coach Terrence Dunn said. “It was a really tough fourth quarter and tough way to go out.”

Broomfield’s defeat was palpable among its players. But entering the game it was arguable that the Eagles were the hottest team in 4A. They had lost only once since the new year and were red-hot up to the semifinals.

“You ask me, I think we should be playing in that game tomorrow,” Kihn said. “But they came back in that last minute and got it.”

Follow Elwood on Twitter @ElwoodKShelton.

 

Valor Christian 75, Broomfield 74

At Coors Event Center

BROOMFIELD (22-5)

Jukkala 0 2-4 2, Macrae 0 2-2 2, Perse 7 5-6 19, Reeb 6 2-2 14, Kihn 4 8-13 16, McLain 8 0-0 19. Totals 25 21-29 74.

VALOR CHRISTIAN (22-4)

McCaffrey 3 0-1 6, Mueller 3 0-0 6, Wilson 3 3-5 9, Proctor 1 0-0 3, Foster 8 8-11 25, Baggett 7 4-4 20, Lorden 2 1-2 5, Cooper 0 1-2 1. Totals 27 17-25.

Score by quarters:

Broomfield 19 13 24 18 — 74

Valor Christian 10 16 18 31 — 75

3-point field goals — Broomfield (3): McLain 3; Valor Christian (4): Proctor, Baggett 2, Foster. Total fouls — Broomfield 20, Valor Christian 18. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — none.

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