COLORADO SPRINGS — Cheyenne Mountain sophomore Javonte Johnson led the Indians with 23 points in Wednesday’s night win over Thompson Valley.
The team’s 56-55 win will send them to the second round of the Class 4A state basketball tournament.
“I did alright tonight, but I know that I can do better,” Johnson said. “We as a team came out tonight and played together and I’m really excited going forward.”
The game started with Thompson Valley coming in hot and in control. Crisp passing and timely rebounds gave them a 18-12 lead over Cheyenne Mountain (10-14 overall) at the end of the first quarter.
However, as the second quarter started, the Indians came alive and with five minutes left, they finally grabbed the lead. They were able to hold Thompson Valley (15-9) to just four points in the second quarter and went into halftime up 27-22.
“This team battles,” Cheyenne Mountain coach Elgin Fitzgerald said. “We’ve had some adversary, but our group plays together as a team and they play for each other and I’m proud of them.”
The game looked to be in Cheyenne Mountain's favor going into the final quarter, but the Eagles refused to give in. With three minutes left, they came back fighting and cut the Indians lead to five points.
Things really heated up when Thompson Valley’s Joey Schaffer made a basket and was fouled. Schaffer then made his free throw making it a 55-52 game with 20 seconds left.
Cheyenne Mountain’s Will Louis came in with a clutch free throw that gave them a four point lead with 10 seconds left. Thompson Valley’s Jared Kasprzak answered with a three pointer and the Eagles fans erupted.
The cheering was short lived when a free throw attempt from Schaffer slowly bounced the rim and fell to the ground and in a flash of a second, Thompson Valley launched the ball for a miracle shot that was stopped by the ceiling ending the game and the Eagles season.
Thompson Valley was led by Justin Wiersema with 16 points. Darren Edwards added 12.
“This game gives us a lot of confidence going forward,” Fitzgerald said. “We had come into this game losing six in a row, but I told them it’s a new game and everybody’s starting zero and zero and that we just need to keep that same mentality.”
The Cheyenne Mountain boys not only proved that they are a team that is capable of overcoming challenges, but that they are ready to battle against any team and next up will be No. 5 Longmont in the second round of games on Saturday.