Physical battle goes to Chaparral

Posted 1/28/09

Zachary M. Snively The outcome of the league battle between ThunderRidge and Chaparral high schools was highlighted by Dalton Patten’s huge …

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Physical battle goes to Chaparral


Zachary M. Snively

The outcome of the league battle between ThunderRidge and Chaparral high schools was highlighted by Dalton Patten’s huge alley-oop with five minutes to go in the game.

The big junior would go on to lead all scorers with 21 points.

Chaparral played host to the contest Jan. 23 at home in Parker. The Wolverines beat T-Ridge 50-46.

The Wolverines were 3-0 in Continental League play coming out of the weekend and held a 7-7 overall record.

Matt Newton, one of the teams captains, said the Grizzlies game was a “big win for us.” Although Newton is a solid basketball player, he is looking to play tight end at Colorado State University at Pueblo. But he did say he would be open to playing basketball in college should a school pursue him.

Chaparral coach Robert Johnson agreed the win was big for his team.

“There are lots of games left, anyone could win on any night,” he said of the depth of the conference and Chaparral’s hopes of making the playoffs.

Nik Pavlich is the Wolverines’ leading scorer, averaging 13.7 points per contest so far this season. The win over ThunderRidge made four straight for Chaparral and leaves them in third place in the Continental League.

Toward the end of the third quarter, an intense few minutes halted play when a Chaparral cheerleader collapsed on the floor of the nearly filled gymnasium. The cause of the collapse was not made official on site. After the incident the cheerleader was taken for care by paramedics.

ThunderRidge came out on the bottom of the physical 50-46 game. Grizzlies coach Joe Ortiz said, “We were abused in transition, and we got out physical-ed inside.”

Ortiz said this was only the second time the Grizzlies have been bested by their league rival from the eastern side of Interstate 25. The coach stressed although this season might look like a rebuilding year after losing several players from last year’s state runner-up team to transfer in the off-season, he does not view it that way.

“It’s about focus. We need to refocus and regroup,” Ortiz said of the remainder of the season.

The loss left ThunderRidge in seventh place in the conference as of Jan. 23.

The team’s leading scorer and captain Dave Arnold dropped 19 points against the Wolverines. Arnold leads the team in scoring with 20.2 points per game.

Ortiz pointed to the injury of Dave Day in September as one reason the Grizzlies have been slumping recently. The team’s leading rebounder played his first game against Chaparral since breaking his thumb.

ThunderRidge continued league play Jan. 27 at home against Rangeview. Results from that game were unavailable at press time. The Grizzlies return to Parker 7 p.m. Jan. 30 to take on Ponderosa.

Chaparral headed to Highlands Ranch Jan. 27 to play the Falcons, and then plays at home 7 p.m. Feb. 3 against first-place Regis.

Chaparral put itself on track for a playoff birth, but the team needs to keep focus down the stretch to make the 32-team tournament.

The Grizzlies are going to need to improve their league record to have a shot at working their way into the playoff picture, but with time left and players returning from injury, they can gain momentum and finish the season strong.



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