DENVER — The game was already over, and there was absolutely nothing Colin Cantwell could do to reverse his team’s fate.
Yet during the waning moments of the annual state basketball all-star game “The Show” on Saturday, the senior from Shining Mountain was able to revel in the sort of challenge these exhibitions are made for.
In one sequence on the Pepsi Center floor, Cantwell was tasked with guarding Regis Jesuit standout guard Josh Perkins along the perimeter. The next time down the court, Cantwell was tasked with doing the same thing against Colorado State-bound guard Carlton Hurst from Aurora Central.
While Cantwell enjoyed mixed results — Perkins settled for a pull-up 3-pointer that went awry, while Hurst, The Show’s MVP, drove to the hoop against Cantwell and drew a foul — it nonetheless exemplified the type of experience most important to those who were playing in their final high school basketball game on Saturday.
“I just wanted to go play, have fun, and do what I do,” Cantwell said. “I just wanted to give energy and play. I wanted to seize the opportunity and have fun with all these guys. I had a good time. It’s always fun stepping up and guarding those better guards.”
Cantwell and Fairview senior Brent Wrapp each were on the White team, which suffered a 93-77 loss against the Blue squad.
Cantwell was energetic from the opening tip after being told by White head coach Damion Copeland, the coach from soon-to-be closed Wasson, that he would be in the starting lineup. The Shining Mountain senior responded by recording the game’s first points off an offensive rebound, sparking a solid all-around first quarter that also included one rebound, one steal, and a blocked shot.
Overall, Cantwell logged about 141/2 minutes, finishing with six points and six rebounds.
“We just had one practice, and everybody was showing up, so I just went in and tried to work hard,” Cantwell said. “It was a good feeling (to start).”
Wrapp, the primary ball handler for the Fairview Knights, had a more difficult time finding a rhythm with so many other talented guards on the floor. Wrapp recorded his lone assist late in the first quarter when he fed D’Evelyn sharpshooter Luke Stratman for a 3-pointer, and he scored his only two points by knocking down a pair of free throws in the third quarter.
“This was just a great opportunity to go against the best in the state,” said Wrapp, who hopes to have his college decision finalized in the near future. “I know some of them from club ball and it was good to be out in this game with them. It’s different out here because you don’t really know the other players and they don’t really know you. All these kids are real athletic so you know when you get them the ball, they’re going to do something with it.”
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Blue 93, White 77
At Pepsi Center
(FGM FTM PTS) Lucero 2 0 5, Garcia 5 2 13, Baer 5 0 13, Wilford 2 3 7, Perkins 3 2 10, Hurst 8 4 22, Paige 5 0 11, Reed 4 0 8, Davis 2 0 4. Totals 36 11 93.
(FGM FTM PTS) Stratman 2 1 6, Collier 6 1 14, Wrapp 0 2 2, Cantwell 3 0 6, Smith 3 0 6, Foster 3 0 7, Robinson 3 0 6, Scott 4 2 11, Snow 7 4 19. Totals 31 10 77.
Score by quarters:
Blue 20 17 24 32 — 93
White 18 12 22 25 — 77
3-point field goals — Blue (10): Baer 3, Hurst 2, Perkins 2, Lucero, Garcia, Paige; White (4): Stratman, Scott, Foster, Collier.