The team poses with their silver medals after the ceremony. (Anna Henning)
The team poses with their silver medals after the ceremony.

Anna Henning

Unified competes in final games of season

March 15, 2019

Fossil Ridge High School’s Unified Basketball wrapped up their season with their final games. They had their last home game at Fossil March 11, and competed in Denver for the state competition March 15. As their season comes to a close, the team feels sad. At the same time however, they will remember the friendships they have made and the fun experiences.

Seniors play one last home game

Karen Manley

Both teams worked extraordinarily hard to put points on the board. The score, 6-6, can be seen in the background as this Rocky player attempts to break the tie.

Seniors play one last home game

An exciting and tense game between Fossil Ridge High School and Rocky Mountain High School ended the Unified Basketball regular season at home with a bang. Monday, March 11, Fossil battled Rocky, going back and forth between ties. It was the perfect end to an exciting season and a bittersweet goodbye to the hardworking seniors. One senior, Robert Stone, said his favorite part was “The adrenaline, I get so much adrenaline pumping through my heart” The games were certainly adrenaline-filled.

Caroline Sears
Students from both teams worked hard throughout the game. Pictured here, Fossil student Liam H. Flake plays a tight defense as a Rocky player dribbles the ball up the court.

The first quarter started quickly, with Rocky and Fossil tying again and again. David Van Skiver scored the first basket, with Jaden Parker swooping in seconds later and scoring again. However, Rocky’s Black Team answered, tying it up, 4-4.

Senior David Knuckey broke the tie. With just five minutes left in the first half, Rocky met Fossil at 6-6. After a few minutes of fast play, David Van Skiver tied the game with seconds left. The final score for the first half was 13-14 Fossil.

With 14 minutes left in the second half, Rocky pulled ahead 16-14. Star player and number 35, Jaden “JP” Parker quickly answered, scoring another two points to tie the game.

With only 13 minutes to go, Rocky shot and scored a three, breaking the tie. Again, a few minutes later, Rocky scored, putting them in a 21-16 lead. Junior David Knuckey got nothing but net as he scored a basket, making the score 21-18 Rocky. Rocky’s Black Team scored a rebound, adding another two points to their score. Senior Robert Stone helped Fossil out, making it 23-20 Rocky.

With time running out and the game getting closer and closer, Rocky scored another four points, to bring the score to 27-20 Rocky. Twins Kaden Samuel and Brendon Samuel, numbers 34 and 10, worked together to try to break the tie, scoring two. Fossil’s number 24, David Van Skiver, swooped in and put up two more for 27-24 Rocky.

Rocky, determined to win, made it 29-24. With two minutes left on the clock, Brendon and Kaden score a rebound to make it 29-26 Fossil. With seconds left on the clock, Rocky brought the the final score to 31-26.

Karen Manley
Junior Silvia Morales giggles as she high fives her teammates before the game.

Senior Mary Maddocks recapped the game perfectly, explaining, “As a team we did super well, although we didn’t win, we still played our hardest.” Maddocks’ favorite part of the sport is, as she describes, “Special needs students get the spotlight and they’re able to compete in really fast-paced sports” Maddocks came into the sport because of her brother, and she has continued to play and support those around her since.

All students fought hard at this high-speed, tense game. This game was also a farewell to many traditions, students, and friends. The seniors saying goodbye left an impact on the team, and the students staying to compete another year are so thankful for these friends.

Fossil wins silver medal at state

Anna Henning

As the first game begins, the starters bring it in for a cheer: “1, 2, 3, FOSSIl!”

Fossil wins silver medal at state

Unified Basketball traveled to Denver for their state competition Friday, March 15. They fought hard for two games, taking home the silver medal. They beat Brighton High School 23-19, and lost to Smoky Hill High School in overtime. Despite their loss, they had an amazing day as a team and are proud of their accomplishments this season.

Anna Henning
Supporters line the stands with signs.

After arriving and experiencing a few bumps with a bracket change, Fossil Ridge High School’s Unified Basketball team began their first game. The first quarter was low-scoring, although both teams brought a lot of heat to the game,.with Kaden Samuel scoring to bring the team to a score of 5-2. Samuel continued his streak, going into the second quarter by scoring two more points for Fossil. Jackson Statkus brought in two more points, bringing the quarter to a close. At halftime, Fossil had the lead 9-4.

The third quarter rolled in and both teams took things up a notch. The pace picked up, and players on the bench watched intently with anticipation. Trent Ashton and Brendon Samuel scored a few times, but at the same time Brighton began to catch up. The quarter ended with Fossil still in the lead, 15-11. Statkus scored again at the beginning of the fourth quarter, earning two points for his team. With five minutes to go in the game, both teams were tied 17-17. Fossil pulled ahead once again as David Knuckey, Brendon, and David Van Skiver made baskets. Their first game ended with a score of 23-19, a victory for Fossil. They advanced on to play for the gold medal.

Anna Henning
The team goes in for high-fives after winning their first game.

Fossil faced off against Smoky Hill High School in their second game of the day. In the first quarter, Kaden scored the first two points of the game. Smoky Hill closely followed, bringing the score to 2-2. Brendon made a basket next, and once again Smoky Hill scored right after. The first quarter wrapped up with Fossil down 4-8. The team started to slow down in the second quarter, with Kaden bringing in four more points for Fossil, both within the last minute before halftime. Fossil ended the quarter 8-14.

The third and fourth quarters picked up, as Kaden continued to dominate the score time and time again. He brought in four more points, bringing the score to 12-18. Brendon brought in two more points, and Kaden scored two as well. After a miss on his first free throw, Brenden scored, bringing the team back up with Smoky Hill. The score was 17-18. Kaden brought the heat to Smoky Hill, scoring more points for Fossil through baskets and free throws. After a basket and three more free throws, Fossil was tied 22-22 with thirteen seconds left on the clock. Tensions rose, and as everyone watched anxiously, neither team scored and they went into overtime.

Anna Henning
Overtime begins, and a jump ball is used to determine which side gets the ball.

The three minute overtime started with Brendon scoring the first point, bringing Fossil into a lead of 24-22. After Smoky Hill scored two points and got a free throw, the game was over with Fossil losing by one point. The final score was 24-25.

After the game, the team was met by their friends who watched and the disappointed mood slowly lifted. As they reflected, they were very proud of how they played. The team worked hard throughout the whole season, and referees at state were impressed by their respect on and off the court. The players are all sad that the season is over, but talked excitedly on the bus ride home about upcoming Unified Soccer. Although the team was disappointed, they came so close to taking home the gold, and they are proud to win silver and will continue to work hard. Congratulations to Unified Basketball on an amazing season and on their many victories.

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