by Melissa Ray
LA VETA — On Thursday evening, in their first game of district play-offs, the Redskins collared the Primero Bulldogs with a winning score of 55 to 36.
During the first two quarters, the Bulldogs grabbed ahold and stuck, with the Redskins ending the second quarter with a score of 16 points to La Veta’s 19. However, in the third and fourth quarters, La Veta stepped up their scoring power, beating Primero by 19 points and solidifying their spot in the District Championship game.
Zac Brunelli was top scorer of the game with 13 points and Tyler Duzenack was the top rebounder with eight rebounds.
The championship game began on Friday afternoon against a team the Redskins had played and beaten twice previously in the regular season, the Cotopaxi Pirates. This game was a nail biter to the end, playing out like a well-written suspense novel. In the last seconds of the game, Zac Brunelli was able to sink two free throw shots, bringing La Veta a hard fought win, 53 to 52.
Cotopaxi had done their homework for this game, and the first quarter played out like a dream for them. The score at the buzzer was 14 to 4. La Veta came out looking flat as a pancake.
During the second quarter, the Pirates continued to play well, but the Redskins stepped it up and outscored them 17 points to 15. La Veta rekindled their love affair with the basket. The most impressive play of the quarter was a blocked pass by Brunelli who then grabbed the ball, headed down the court and hit the basket for two. This quarter ended 29 to 21 in the Pirates’ favor.
The Pirates continued to be a tough opponent in the third quarter as well, maintaining a ten-point lead. They had the treasure within their grasp, and they weren’t going to go home without it. The quarter ended 43 to 33.
La Veta fans began to worry that La Veta would not find the “rabbit in the hat” as the game began to wind down to the final minutes of the game and Cotopaxi was still ahead by ten points. Something clicked and the Redskins decided it was do or die. Casey Campbell was fouled and made a free throw. After a crazy ball chase in the middle of the court, Blake Warren made a shot for two. Kyon Kreutzer decided it was time he made a three pointer. Brunelli was headed up to make two off the boards when he was fouled.
It was down to the last seconds of the game and La Veta was down by one. If Brunelli made one shot, the game would go into overtime. If he made two, the Redskins were champs. If he made none, the Pirates were taking the treasure home this time. The pressure was on. Brunelli made one. He made two!
Cotopaxi did not have time to get the ball to their end of the court before the buzzer sounded. The La Veta Redskins became District 6 1A Champions by coming back to beat the Pirates by one point!
Coach Wade Kreutzer had these comments about the game. “When you play someone three times, it just gets tougher and tougher to beat them. They came out and shot really good, but the boys stayed tough. I kept telling them to stick with it and play hard and they did. They just weren’t gonna quit. They were really resilient. They just kept at it, a good team effort. I’m very proud of them.”
Blake Warren was the top scorer of the game with 15 points followed closely by Kyon Kreutzer with 14 points.
The win gave La Veta the number one seed for Regionals this weekend. They have a Bye for their first game so they will not play on Friday, but will watch Holly and Cotopaxi play. The Redskins will play the winner of that game on Saturday in Pueblo.
Gary M. Vezzani was elected Walsenburg’s mayor in Tuesday’s special mayoral election/recall vote. Preliminary results announced Tuesday night show that both Nick Vigil in Ward