Fossil wins silver medal at state

March 16, 2019


Anna Henning

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

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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