FOUNTAIN- The La Veta men’s basketball program came to a disappointing conclusion at the hands of the Limon Badgers, 70-53, in the first round of Regional play. The loss dashed their hopes of a shot in the Great Eight and a state playoff berth. La Veta was the fourth seed in the region, and as a result faced Limon, the number-one seed and also ranked 6th in the state before the playoffs began.
The Redskins opened the game strong and led throughout most of the first quarter. Josiah Christian was tough under the boards, leading the team with a total of 11 rebounds in the game. Sloppy play and turnovers by the Skins in the second allowed the Badgers to open a lead midway which they would not relinquish. Limon took a 37-29 lead into the locker room at the half.
The Badger barrage of points continued into the final half as the Redskin defense could not control Limon’s big man, Matt Brown, who finished the day with 19 points. Brown also led his team with blocked shots and steals. La Veta could not come back after the Badgers broke the game wide open in the third and led by as many as 22 points. When the smoke settled, the Redskin season was over and for the seniors on the floor, their hope of making state was denied. The twin towers led La Veta’s scoring: Dakota Mason scored 19 points while brother, Dalton hit 14.
This season, the Redskins peaked in February winning five of seven games and losing only to district foes, Sanford and Sargent. Both teams won their region and advanced to the State Tournament. La Veta dropped three straight games in the playoffs and were eliminated from further action.
Dakota Mason led the team with 453 points in the season and averaged 20.59 points per game. He shot an incredible 55 % from the field and 61% from the free throw line. Brother Dalton led the team from the three-point line, shooting 29% in the season. Sophomore Christian was a dominant force on both sides of the ball. Christian averaged 14 points per game and led the team defensively with 110 offensive and 117 defensive rebounds. He also led with 51 steals and 46 blocked shots. Senior Trey Price led the team with 108 assists and was a key player in setting up the offense.
The other seniors on the team, Clancy Kreutzer, Bradley Vigil and Sean Sanchez and Evan Arnold, will be missed; their contributions helped the team as a whole. Junior John Brunelli was a consistent player under the boards on defense and was a key factor in the team’s defense. Junior Matt Hammernik played half the season before an injury sidelined him. Sophomore Brandon Morgan, though not a starter, came off the bench in relief and also was a key contributor to the team’s success.