BROOMFIELD — The Holy Family and Mead boys basketball teams made sure and brought the “Wow” factor to their Tri-Valley League tilt late Friday night at Holy Family.
But in a game where offenses came alive in the fourth quarter for both squads, the Chris Helbig factor paid off for the host Tigers.
Looking to make a statement in their new league, Helbig and the Tigers held off a furious rally from a determined Mavericks squad, finishing off free throw chances in the final minutes to take a 55-46 victory and improve to 4-0 in TVL play.
So many other players made the little things happen for Holy Family (9-2 overall) down the stretch, but Helbig’s all-around play was something to behold. He scored 25 points on 11 of 18 shooting, hitting all four baskets he attempted in the fourth frame, and had two huge blocked shots in the final quarter that kept the Tigers ahead.
“A little too much of No. 3,” Mead head coach Darin Reese quipped after the game. “He’s a great player, and he found ways to make great plays.”
For all the good Blake Goodwin did for Mead (8-4, 2-2) in the game — he finished with 12 points, five blocks and five rebounds — Helbig’s denial of a short Goodwin jumper around the 3-minute mark of the fourth quarter may have been the play of the game.
The 6-foot-3 guard made the most of being caught down low, getting a big piece of the 6-8 Goodwin’s seventh field goal attempt with the Tigers ahead just 46-44.
From there, it was Holy Family as a team doing its best on offense and defense to hold Mead to just two points in those final 180 seconds. Alex Comeaux hit a short jumper for his only points of the game inside of 2 minutes to play, Joe Golter hit 3 of 4 free throws, and Austin Brown also sunk a pair of free throws and grabbed a necessary rebound to give HFHS its eighth straight win.
“You could sense it in there, it was a big-game atmosphere,” said Holy Family coach Pete Villecco. “We come from a good league, and we’ve been in dogfights like that in the past. Our kids sensed that it would be that big-game atmosphere, and we embraced the challenge. Mead’s a really good team, and it was just a fun game.”
“I think our defense and toughness helped us out a lot tonight,” said senior Luke Golter, who tallied 18 points, six rebounds and a blocked shot. “We had a lot of guys step up. Chris obviously helped out down the stretch with all the points, but we had guys getting good rebounds, making good defensive plays, and all of it helped out for the win.”
Walker Korell led the Mavericks with 15 points in his return from a 1-game suspension after being ejected two games ago. He had seven points in the first quarter as the visitors jumped out to a 13-4 lead, but Holy Family held Mead scoreless from the 52-second mark of the first until there was 4:52 left before halftime.
With Golter and Helbig hitting most of their shots in the middle quarters, Holy Family took a 40-29 lead into the fourth frame. Korell got going again, and his baseline drive and dunk with 5:26 left made it a five-point game at 42-37.
Alex Sandstrom hit a 3-pointer just 13 seconds later to cut the lead to 42-40 before Helbig took over with three straight mid-range jumpers — one while he was falling backward and another fadeaway swish. Goodwin continued to keep pace inside, but the Mavericks never were able to tie the game.
“We’ve got confident guys, guys that have been in big games, and we had all the confidence in the world to keep running our stuff and keep our movement,” Reese said. “I’m proud of our guys for battling back. When we started to foul, we couldn’t get anything to go down on our end to keep that run we had going.”
“We always tell our guys that we can weather two storms, but three is tough,” Villecco added. “We had to weather the storm in the fourth quarter, and Chris was just super. He answered, and our team answered — but Chris made some incredibly tough plays.”
The teams will play again at Mead on Feb. 11.
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Holy Family 55, Mead 46
At Holy Family HS
MEAD (8-4, 2-2)
James Maher 1 0-0 2, Michael Ward 3 0-0 8, Walker Korell 6 2-2 15, Alex Sandstrom 2 0-0 5, Michael Rice 0 2-2 2, Daniel Gernant 0 0-0 0, Blake Goodwin 6 0-0 12, Ryan Cheung 1 0-0 2. Totals 19 4-4 46.
HOLY FAMILY (9-2, 4-0)
Chris Helbig 11 2-3 25, Joe Golter 1 3-4 5, Alex Comeaux 1 0-0 2, Luke Golter 7 0-3 18, Austin Brown 1 3-4 5, Matt Griggs 0 0-0 0, Nick Kreutzer 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 8-14 55.
Score by quarters:
Mead 13 6 10 17 — 46
Holy Family 9 18 13 15 — 55
3-point field goals — Mead (4): Ward 2, Korell, Sandstrom; Holy Family (5): L. Golter 4, Helbig. Total fouls — Mead 14, Holy Family 11.