Boys basketball: Centaurus proves its high ranking in win over Thompson Valley

  • Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Centaurus' Asher Sugianto takes a tough inside shot Friday night in the Warriors' home Northern League game against Thompson Valley. Centaurus finished the regular season with a win and should get a first-round bye in the Class 4A playoffs next week. Visit BoCoPreps.com for more photos.

  • Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Centaurus' Nate Totel, seen here driving for a fastbreak dunk in the second quarter Friday night, finished with 15 points and 16 rebounds in the Warriors win.

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LAFAYETTE — Centaurus snapped a five-year playoff drought by grabbing the final spot in the postseason last year, which was cool … but it’s on to bigger and better things.

The Warriors finished their season with a 48-27 win over Thompson Valley on Friday night, capping off the program’s first winning season in eight years and all but ensuring one of the 16 byes in the Class 4A tournament when the brackets are released on Sunday.

“It is so much different (this year),” senior Nate Totel said. “Last year we were all kind of excited, but this year we’re really excited.”

Winners of five of their last six games — with their only blemish coming to undefeated Longmont in the last two weeks — the Warriors (16-7, 11-3 4A Northern) came into their final game of the regular season ranked eighth in RPI and 10th in the polls on CHSAANow.com.

Their tune-up to the dance resulted in dominance.

Totel, the team’s swift-footed, 6-foot-4 senior, stretched the floor and pounded inside, finishing with 15 points and 16 rebounds for his third double-double of the year. He also had seven steals.

Nick Vaver hit four 3s and added 12 points. And Owen Koonce, Centaurus’ standout junior, had nine.

“Over time, we’ve just continued to grow and grow within our program,” fourth-year Warriors coach Travis Maron said. “And when you have good players, that helps too.”

It was too much for Thompson Valley (6-17, 4-10), which sits outside the playoff picture at 55th and likely played in its final game of the season.

The Eagles, maybe like Centaurus a year ago, showed reasons they should be optimistic for the future — most notably, sophomore Jaromy Morgan, who slammed an emphatic, one-handed dunk on the break in the opening seconds and was on the back end of an alley-oop in the final minutes. But they weren’t close to the Warriors Friday.

Koonce, in what was a mostly quiet offensive performance for a 4A top 10-ranked scorer, had a quick lay-in and drilled a 3 from the corner to put Centaurus ahead 7-5 in the opening quarter. Vaver then followed with one of his three 3s in the half and Totel dominated just about everywhere on the floor to help push the advantage to 30-17.

After half, Centaurus held Thompson Valley to six points over the first 10:44 and the lead grew to 20-plus.

The Warriors’ next game will likely be at home in the second round of the 4A playoffs next Saturday. Their mindset then will be clear.

“It’s all about chemistry,” Totel said. “We’ve been hanging out a lot more, going to team dinners and just being by each other’s sides.”

Brent W. New: bwnew@prairiemountainmedia.com and @brentwnew

 

Centaurus 48, Thompson Valley 27

At Centaurus HS

THOMPSON VALLEY (6-17, 4-10)

Kreikemeier 3 0-0 6, Kasprzak 0 0-0 0, Nellor 0 0-0 0, Barnhill 0 0-0 0, Brian 0 0-0 0, Lessman 0 0-0 0, Bellino 0 0-0 0, Brouwer 1 3-5 5, Wiersema 2 3-4 7, Morgan 4 0-0 9, Bierman 0 0-0 0. Team 10 6-9 27.

CENTAURUS (16-7, 11-3)

Sugianto 1 0-0 2, Walker 0 0-0 0, Rubin 0 0-0 0, Miles 0 0-0 0, Godard 3 0-0 8, N. Vaver 4 0-0 12, Koonce 2 4-4 9, Lynch 1 0-3 2, Swain 0 0-0 0, Totel 6 3-3 15, R. Vaver 0 0-0 0, Hill 0 0-0 0, Pauletto 0 0-0 0, Burgess 0 0-0 0. Team 17 7-10 48.

Score by quarters:

Thompson Valley             10 7 6 4  — 27

Centaurus                        15 15 12 6  — 48

3-point field goals — Thompson Valley (1): Morgan; Centaurus (7): N. Vaver 4, Godard 2, Koonce. Total fouls — Thompson Valley 13, Centaurus 10. Fouled out — Brouwer. Technical fouls — Rubin.