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Colts Compete in First Playoff Game in 8 Years

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Colts Compete in First Playoff Game in 8 Years

The Cottonwood Colts fought hard throughout their first playoff game in 8 years.

The Cottonwood Colts fought hard throughout their first playoff game in 8 years.

Tomas D'Anella

The Cottonwood Colts fought hard throughout their first playoff game in 8 years.

Tomas D'Anella

Tomas D'Anella

The Cottonwood Colts fought hard throughout their first playoff game in 8 years.

Tomas D'Anella, Editor-in-Chief

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The Cottonwood Boys Basketball team competed in their first playoff game in 8 years on Thursday night. After defeating Brighton High School on Tuesday in triple overtime, CHS was in the midst of a three-way tie for the final playoff spot with Brighton and Alta High. A coin flip decided the Colts would take on the Bengals once again in a play-in game with the winner going on to face Alta the next night. The play-in game turned out to be a tough-fought match-up between the two teams.

Brighton took the opening tip-off and got a quick score to open the game. After a Cottonwood steal, junior Eli Reynolds drove into the basket for a dunk putting the first points on the board for the Colts.

The Bengals took control shortly after, ending the first quarter leading 20-9, but the Colts opened up the second aggressively. The aggressiveness led to some missed shots and missed opportunities to score after driving into the basket fell short. Head Coach, Lance Gumersall said, “I think we made some mistakes at times, but we had to be aggressive where we could’ve made shots. I thought try to take advantage of driving when our shots weren’t falling.”

Though the offense started out slowly, the defense kept them close in order to compete. Three 3-pointers, two from Senior Spencer McDonald and one from Reynolds, who set up one of McDonald’s with a nice screen, brought the Colts back to life. Cottonwood outscored Brighton 21-9 in the quarter. The half ended on a missed Bengal 3-point attempt, with the score 33-30 Brighton.

Brighton opened up the half with the ball, but a quick rebound from Cottonwood ended the possession. Both teams traded possessions before the first 2-point layup from Brighton opened the scoring. That first score came 2:18 into the quarter.

The student section from both schools enjoyed the contest to this point. The Colt section started chanting “Airball” at Brighton’s players every time they got the ball. The Bengal section took the opportunity to use the same chant against Cottonwood. The always energetic Colts quieted their retaliation with a louder “C-O-L-T-S” chant, overpowering the opposing chant.

Eli Reynolds snuck up on a Bengal going for a layup swatting the ball out at the last second sparking a “You got swatted!” chant from the Colts.

Questionable fouls and quick scores from Brighton ran up the points ending the 3rd quarter 41-33 Bengals.

Back-to-back fouls from both teams woke up the opposing coaches as they became vocal and audible from the stands. Referees appeared to jaw back at the coaches though nothing came of it.

Cottonwood appeared to wake up when Reynolds hit another three point shot, leading to Brighton missing on a tough drive to the basket. Spencer McDonald struck again with a big steal off of Brighton. He drove into the basket but hesitated letting a Bengal catch up and block his shot.

Brighton woke up in the latter half of the quarter putting the bow on the game ending the Colt’s playoff hopes 59-43. There was quality defense in the first half that just wasn’t there in the second. “Defensively I thought we rotated better in the first half. The second half we didn’t do too well,” the Colt’s coach remarked. “Once we were behind, we had to extend our defense out [which] made it easier for the inside to get good looks”

Cottonwood battled throughout the game but ultimately fell short. Despite the loss, Head Coach, Lance Gumersall, voiced his praise for his Colts and especially for his senior players. “We brought Cottonwood basketball back to postseason basketball for the first time in eight years. We’re proud they’re a part of that. All of them were given a role and they accepted it. They played their role how they needed to in order to get us to this point. We were proud they were able to be a part of that”

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Colts Compete in First Playoff Game in 8 Years