Sabercats ready for Final Four fight against Regis Jesuit


Dylan Heinrich

Drew Larson releasing a floater against Fort Collins at the Denver Coliseum.

Dylan Heinrich, Sports Editor

After their 72-58 win in the Elite Eight, the Fossil Ridge Sabercats boys basketball team are ready for their second consecutive Final Four appearance. This time, number three Fossil is ready to face off against number seven Regis Jesuit after their upset win over Rock Canyon.

While the two teams didn’t play during the CHSAA season, the squads are familiar with one another after playing twice in the Colorado University team camp over the summer. 

Regis scored a win in the first game, but Fossil bounced back in the championship game. Now with the series tied at one, it’s time to take this matchup to where it really counts.

“Knowing that team pretty well, we feel that we know how to guard them,” said senior guard Domenic Leone. “And what we do offensively I don’t think they’ll be able to stop.”

Leone during pregame warmups from last Saturday.

This game is extra personal for Leone, as he was part of the football team that was eliminated by Regis Jesuit in the playoffs earlier this year. 

“Knowing that was the last game I played in high school…I want them to feel that in basketball,” Leone said. 

Leone after catching a touchdown in Fossil’s playoff loss against Regis Jesuit

One advantage that Fossil Ridge will have is a continuously improving version of Matthew Boldt. After playing only twelve minutes in the game against Fort Collins, Boldt has continued to work on rehabbing his ankle and is looking healthier by the day.

“This week, physically I’m feeling better,” Boldt said. “Trying to do as much as I can to be as close to 100 percent for Friday.”

Boldt heading up for a layup in the second half against Fort Collins. (Dylan Heinrich)

Looking ahead to Regis Jesuit, they are a team that thrives in the crunch time. In their last two playoff games, they have overcome double-digit deficits in the second half. For Fossil Ridge, they spoke about the importance of a massive lead to test their opponent’s mental fortitude, like their 18-0 opening run against Doherty.

“We have to come out fast, let them know who we are,” Boldt said. “They’re going to be ready, so we have to be ready too.”

An advantage the Raiders have is their loud and supportive fan base, affectionately known as “The Red Sea”. Their student section will be out in full force, as Regis Jesuit will be dismissing early to make the Friday afternoon tipoff. But even with this added external pressure, Fossil Ridge is looking ahead to play in the hostile environment.

“You just have to lock in on the game,” Leone said. “Focus on the little things.”

Regardless of the outcome, due to the Final Four taking place over the span of a single weekend, this is the last week of high school basketball for the collection of ten seniors on the Sabercats’ roster.

“We’ve all been playing basketball together for six years, it’s do-or-die since we won’t get another shot at this,” Boldt said. “We’re locked in.”

Fossil Ridge and Regis Jesuit will face off with a spot in the 6A Championship on the line on Friday, March 10 at 12:45 p.m. at the Denver Coliseum.