GREELEY — Micah Crane started dreaming up a moment like this years ago.
It started his freshman season, when he watched his older brothers lead the South Baca boys basketball team in the state tournament. Now a senior, he had his own opportunity — and he was sure to make the most of it.
Crane and his Patriots teammates found themselves locked in a back-and-forth battle Friday night with No. 2-seed Front Range Baptist in the Class 1A semifinals.
Something had to give, and a game-clinching 3-pointer from Crane that bounced off both sides of the rim proved to be the moment of the game, which ended in a 64-57 victory for No. 6 South Baca.
“I dream of big-time shots like that every night. I felt it in the moment and it ended up being good,” Crane said. “Playing against my older brothers my whole life, it was really special to hit it with them in the stands watching.”
The win puts his team in position to do even better than that 2015 squad led by Matthew and Morgan Crane, which finished as the state consolation champion. Micah and the Patriots have a chance to bring South Baca its first state title when they take on Peetz in the championship game at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland.
“To represent our school up here feels amazing. I just want to make our hometown proud,” Crane said. “We want to put our school on the map.”
In Friday’s win, Crane helped South Baca offensively with 24 total points. The 10 he scored in the fourth quarter included the clutch, go-ahead 3-pointer and a pair of free throws late to seal the victory.
Fellow senior Thomas Manuel led the Patriots in scoring with a game-high 25 points, including connecting on seven of his 10 free-throw attempts.
Front Range Baptist, which never trailed more than 5 points until the late moments of the game, had three players score in double-digits. The Falcons were led by Adam Poole’s 17 points, while Deric Woods and Stephen Stallings contributed 13 and 10, respectively.
Front Range Baptist moves into the third-place game, where it will face Creede at noon Saturday back at Bank of Colorado Arena.
(5) Peetz 69, (1) Creede 67 (OT)
The second boys semifinal bout was just as competitive as the first, so much that extra time was required to determine a winner
Friday’s finale didn’t disappoint, as both teams remained tied down to the final moment. The Bulldogs had possession with only eight seconds left in overtime when the last timeout was called. Shortly after, Logan Sircy dished the ball over to Gabe Naegele, who was waiting beneath the basket to put in the game-winner.
Sircy finished as the top scorer for Peetz with 23 points. Naegele put up 15 points of his own, while Bryson Long contributed 14.
Isaac Borchers of Creede was beyond impressive offensively as he finished the game leading all scorers with 33 points. Casper Freedie and Finn Leggitt added 11 and 10 points, respectively.