Ryan Fikany shoots a short-range shot in the first half of Thursday’s Region A semifinal at Logan. The Foxes defeated Grady 65-59. (Courtesy photo: Scot Stinnett)
LOGAN — Because Fort Sumner had won the previous two meetings by an average of 27.5 points, it seemed pretty obvious what the Foxes would do to the Grady Bronchos Thursday in a Region A boys basketball semifinal.
But on second thought...
The favored team did indeed win, but not after overcoming a dogged effort from the Bronchos. Bottom line for Fort Sumner, however, is a trip to the state tournament after a 64-59 victory over Grady.
“We were just too busy trying not to lose, instead of playing our game,” said Fort Sumner senior Stephen Gallegos, who scored 10 points.
The game wasn’t decided until Richard Canales turned a steal into a layup and Brent Williamson drained a 3-pointer with 1:30 clock for a 59-52 Fox advantage.
“I put him in a lot of situations like that, because a lot of times throughout the season he’s just hit a clutch shot like that,” Fort Sumner coach Wes Weems said. “It’s just one of those things where the ball just seems to find him. In a situation like that, he almost always catches the ball in rhythm and knocks the ball down.”
This game was different from the first two meetings in which Fort Sumner (23-3) won by 31 and 24 points.
Grady’s last lead of the game was 31-30 early in the third quarter when a steal by Domingo Diaz resulted in a layup for Trenton Whitehead.
“I told them in there (the locker room) that I couldn’t have been any more proud of a bunch of guys,” Grady coach Jim Kneipp said. “They laid it all out there for 32 minutes. We’re not in their caliber talent-wise, but we got after their team.”
Jeremy Gauna led Fort Sumner with 22 points.
Colt Grau topped Grady (16-13) with 17 points.