LAFAYETTE — It may be just three games into the season, but the Centaurus Warriors may have already hit their turning point.

The Warriors were down 15 points at the half of their own tournament to Sheridan and simply were not playing good basketball.

“We were at a crossroads already. We needed to know what we were going to be made of,” Centaurus coach Brandon Gullicksrud said. “We played really poorly at the defensive end, we were taking poor shots, turning the ball over a lot. It was similar to last Tuesday at Fort Lupton.”

But unlike the game against Fort Lupton, Centaurus rallied, played a fantastic fourth quarter, and stormed back for a huge 62-59 win over the Rams in the first round of the Boulder Valley Invitational.

“I’ve got to tip it to our guys,” Gullicksrud said. “They stayed the course, they stayed coachable and they battled through and made enough plays there at the end to pull it out.”

Centaurus (2-1) grabbed their first lead of the game with 1 minute, 54 seconds to play on Steven Lopez’s two free throws and stretched it to a 59-54 lead with 27.7 seconds to play.

But Sheridan, which lives and dies by its long-range shooting, had one last bit of heroics in them. After a made free throw by Brandon Gonzales made it 59-55, Centaurus turned the ball over on the inbound play.

“We came out of the timeout and said no fouls, anything but a foul, because this is a two-possession game and four points,” Gullicksrud said. “We definitely wanted to try and keep the ball of of 5’s (Daniel Martinez’s) hands if we could.”

So what ends up happening? Not only did they not deny Martinez, but they fouled him on a made 3-pointer and he tied the game with 19 seconds left.

Centaurus got one last crack and made the most of it. A well-designed play got the ball to senior Mike Loftus on the baseline and he knocked down the 10-foot jumper with 2.7 seconds left that proved to be the game-winner.

“I know the school of thought is to call a timeout there and set something up, but I trust our kids,” said Gullicksrud, who got a game-high 19 points from Steven Lopez — including 11 in the fourth quarter. “They made a play and that has nothing to do with coaching. That’s players making a play when a play needs to be made.”

For Centaurus, Logan Platt finished with 13 points and both Anthony Ogrodnick and Mike DeVries chipped in with 11.

Brandon Gonzales led Sheridan, which hit 11 3-pointers, with 18 points. Martinez had 13.

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Centaurus 62, Sheridan 59

At Centaurus


Robert Williams 2 0-0 5, Hector Reyes 3 0-0 9, Daniel Martinez 5 1-2 13, Jonathon Aguilar 0 0-0 0, Alex Redondo 2 0-0 4, Brandon Gonzales 6 1-2 18, Devonte Trujillo 1 4-4 6, Philip Mackintosh 1 0-0 2, Sam Lucero 1 0-0 2. Totals 21 6-8 59.


Nick Inslee 1 0-0 2, Logan Platt 3 4-4 13, Shayne Albertson 1 0-0 2, Isiah Moreno 0 0-0 0, Steven Lopez 3 11-14 19, Anthony Ogrodnick 4 0-0 11, Mike Loftus 2 0-0 4, Mike DeVries 3 5-7 11. Totals 17 20-25 62.

Score by quarters:

Sheridan 15 17 13 14 — 59

Centaurus 7 10 17 28 — 62

3-point field goals — Sheridan (11): Gonzales 5, Reyes 3, Martinez 2, Williams; Centaurus (8): Platt 3, Ogrodnick 3, Lopez 2. Total fouls — Sheridan 23; Centaurus 17. Fouled out — Lopez.