PUEBLO — The three-peat is complete for the Sanford boys basketball team.
With the score tied, senior Chance Canty scored his team’s last five points with 95 seconds to play, vaulting the Indians to a dramatic 63-58 win over Resurrection Christian in the Class 2A state championship game Saturday night at Colorado State University-Pueblo’s Massari Arena.
“I do not even know what was going through my mind,” said Canty about the last 95 seconds of the game. “I was just playing the game. Coach (Larsen) always tells us every possession counts and we are not a stalling team. We go all the way to the end and I think that really helps us out. It just feels amazing to win three state titles in a row.”
Not only did the Indians win a third state crown, but this is the school’s eighth boys basketball title.
Sanford also matched a state record with its latest win. The Indians finished the season with a 27-0 record and also tied Ridgway’s boys basketball team for most Colorado prep basketball wins in a row at 73. Ridgway set the record from 1993-96.
Sanford’s win streak dates back to the middle of the 2013-2014 season.
“This is unbelievable,” veteran Sanford coach Rhett Larsen said. “Our kids played awesome tonight and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
This is the second-consecutive year Sanford beat Resurrection Christian in the state finals. Last season the Indians beat the Cougars 47-44 in overtime.
A year ago, the Cougars were making their inaugural appearance in a boys basketball title game and suffered their only loss to Sanford – and history repeated itself in 2016 as RSC finished with a 25-1 record. Resurrection Christian is moving up to the 3A ranks next season.
“It’s unbelievable to beat a team like that two years in a row,” Larsen said. “Our kids played really good defense (Saturday night) and handled the situation well and I’m so excited for them. They just did awesome.”
The Cougars were down 58-53 before making a frantic comeback.
Michael Stevenson, who had 31 points made three free throws to get RSC within 58-56 with 2:50 left in the fourth. Tanner Ervin’s bucket then tied the game for RSC at 58-58.
That set the stage for Canty’s heroics in the final 1:35 – something he will never forget.
“Our community and our fans from everywhere have been tremendously supportive through this entire journey and that’s why it means so much to get them another state title,” Canty said.