LOVELAND — Sean Fehringer knew something special was in the making.
Four months ago, the Peetz boys basketball coach watched his school’s football team capture the 6-man state championship. The best part? Ten out of the 12 players on his basketball roster were multi-sport athletes also on that team.
Knowing they were equipped with a championship mentality, Fehringer helped them transfer it over to the court — which came full circle Saturday night when the Bulldogs beat South Baca 51-44 in the Class 1A title game at the Budweiser Events Center.
Peetz now has two championships this school year, and its first boys basketball crown since 1962.
“Right after football season, we told the guys they had an opportunity to do something truly special for our town,” Fehringer said. “We have some of the greatest fan support for our athletics. It really is a community achievement for little old Peetz, Colorado.”
The Bulldogs’ run to the basketball title began as the No. 5 seed in the state tournament. They had to move past No. 4 Sange de Cristo in the opening round, then survive an overtime thriller against top-seeded Creede in the semifinals.
“We knew that coming in, there would be eight teams here all hungry for the same thing, and that makes it very challenging,” Fehringer said.
In Saturday’s finale, Peetz (25-1) found itself evenly matched against No. 6 South Baca.
The Bulldogs grabbed an early lead but were unable to put the game away, which remained tight all the way until the final minutes. Although never having a lead, the Patriots did not trail more than eight at any point, continuing to apply pressure.
It was the senior-heavy Peetz lineup that proved to be the difference coming down the stretch.
Logan Sircy, who also earned football Player of the Year honors, finished as the game’s leading scorer with 23 points. Included in his performance was a key 3-pointer and a pair of free throws late in the fourth quarter to help his team fend off South Baca.
Gabe Naegele and Bryson Long added nine and eight points, respectively, while Tre Fehringer chipped in five.
South Baca finishes its season with a 21-5 record as state runner-up. The Patriots were led by the scoring duo of seniors Micah Crane (19 points) and Thomas Manuel (13).
“This is awesome; just amazing. The environment and everything — you’ll never forget it,” Sircy said.
“We’ve been dreaming of this for as long as I can remember. It was a long time coming. To come out and get it done on the last game of your career is a really special feeling.”