Fossil finishes 2022 Gojo Tipoff Classic 3-0


Drew Larson (3) throwing down a dunk against Windsor on Saturday, December 3.

Dylan Heinrich, Sports Writer

For the second time in two seasons, the Fossil Ridge boys basketball team remains undefeated after their opening Gojo Tipoff Classic tournament.

The first game of the season came against the George Washington Patriots in a 79-34 blowout. The Sabercats came out on a massive 49-12 run in the first half. Afterwards the team coasted through the second half, gliding to a 45 point win in their season opener. Fossil impressed with their defense skills, racking up ten steals and five blocks in a clinic.

A big part of the team’s success comes from the team’s length. With seven of their eight rotation players standing at 6’3” or taller, Fossil Ridge is able to tower over their opponents. Another important advantage is that each and every Sabercat has a wide array of talents from impressive handles, good outside shooting, and a strong offensive style. The perfect example of these skills is the 6’5” forward Matthew Boldt.

“We all have different skill sets,” Boldt said. “We’ve been playing with each other so long so we know how to use each other to the best of our abilities.”

Boldt pushing around a screen.

Boldt made a clear statement during his first game as a starter, racking up 12 points, nine rebounds, and six assists. The senior forward has made an outstanding comeback from an ACL tear during his sophomore season, cementing himself as one of the best players on the roster and a true difference maker.

“The ball was finding my hands and I just had the chance to hit some shots,” Boldt said.

The good times continued in Fossil’s second victory in an impressive 63-40 showing against the preseason 6A No. 6 Denver East Angels.

The game started slow for the Sabercats, tying the Angels 7-7 through the first eight minutes of action. After that Fossil Ridge was all over their opponents, led by leader Nick Randall. Randall took over this game after the first quarter, leading the way with 27 points and 13 rebounds.

“We came into this game knowing that it was going to be a dog fight,” Randall said. “The first half we didn’t come out ready but we were able to change that in the second half.”

Randle dominating in the paint against Denver East.

A big part of Randall’s success was his ability to get to the free throw line. The big man made 9 of his 11 free throws, making more than the entire Denver East roster combined. Randall gets all these free throws not by being stronger than everyone else, but by being smarter and using his height and leverage to his advantage.

“People just try to out muscle me which is often what gets them in foul trouble,” Randall said.

Wrapping up the tournament Fossil marched to their third straight victory 66-49 over rival Windsor.

The Sabercats started their second straight game off slow, trailing 8-4 early in the first. Fossil were able to change those fortunes, as a massive second quarter push led to a 33-23 lead at the half. The highlight of the second came off a rim-rattling dunk from Drew Larson.

“We knew we came out flat on offense,” Larson said. “Once we were letting up a lot of offensive rebounds to them. Once we got those boards it was able to get into transition easier.”

Larson posing for a photo alongside senior Brady Rotner.

Larson is a key role player coming off the bench for Fossil Ridge, scoring five points with five rebounds while making both of his shots. While these numbers aren’t eye popping, Larson’s effort and hustle on the court goes unmatched.
“I’m not one of the guys that’s gonna go out there and put up 20,” Larson said. “But I know that I need to get rebounds and play defense and just do whatever coach needs us to do to get a win.”

Fossil will look to continue their unbeaten streak as they prepare for the Chaparral/ThunderRidge Tournament on the road next week. Their first game will be against Arapahoe High School on Wednesday, December 7.