New Year, Same Result: Fossil finishes second place in case of deja vu


Sophie Webb

Fossil Ridge holding their runner-up trophy after losing the 2023 6A title game.

Dylan Heinrich, Sports Editor

Despite doing all the right things, Fossil Ridge just can’t win the big one. The Sabercats finished runner-up for the second consecutive season, falling to Denver East 82-61 in the 6A state championship game.

Fossil was blitzed by Denver East to start the game, with a 7-0 Denver east run. The Sabercats responded with a miniature run of their own to cut the lead to four after the opening quarter. 

But good three point shooting kept Denver East in the lead for the entire first half. Every time Fossil would make a basket, the Angels would come back down with one of their own. As a result, Fossil trailed at the half 33-27.

For the game Denver East shot 9/18 from behind the arc, compared to Fossil’s 5-22.

Superstar Nick Randall did his part to keep Fossil in the game, with 14 first half points with a total of 26 in another great performance from the senior. 

Randall with one of his several dunks on the day. (Sophie Webb)

Denver East would continue to push their lead, this time with their tenacious zone, forcing Fossil into uncomfortable shots. After yet another quarter of pushing the lead, the Sabercats trailed 55-41 with five seconds left in the third. Cooper Mcmillin nailed a deep three at the buzzer to cut the lead back to 11.

However, that wasn’t enough of a spark to get the Sabercats back in the game, as the Angels stretched the lead to 21 points to win the title. Fossil’s defense couldn’t keep up with the fast pace of the Angels offense, allowing 49 second half points.

Fossil had additional scoring from Drew Larson with eight points, Domenic Leone with 10, and Colin Hayes with 11. These three were committed giving it their all in their last high school game. 

Larson(left) hugging Leone late in the fourth quarter after being subbed out. (Sophie Webb)

While Fossil fell short of their eventual goal of a state championship, the group accomplished something that few will in their high school career. The Sabercats added both a Final Four and runner-up trophy to their collection of hardware.

Over the past two seasons, Fossil had a combined record of 51-5, with a well over .900 win percentage. They competed in ten playoff games, more than anyone in their respective division. 

While this is the final game for all ten senior members, many will continue their athletic career at  the next level. This mass exodus leaves a giant hole in the program, as many underclassmen are ready to make the leap to the varsity level next season.