Basketball Post-Season Review

By Kyle Kercheval 

It has been a historic run for Head Coach Kevin Boley’s squad this season, as the Legend boys’ basketball team is currently preparing for its first Final Four match-up in school history.

The road to this milestone has been anything but a breeze, and anything but a “quick” process. As the Titans themselves reflect and get set for their contest at the Coors Event Center on Friday, let’s take a look at the boys’ journey up to this point.

Round One, Feb. 27: Rocky Mountain (12) @ Legend

Heading into their first postseason matchup, Legend hosted the Rocky Mountain Lobos, coming off of a big 52-50 win against Chaparral to conclude the regular season. Although the Lobos’ record (6-17) was a mirror image of the Titans (17-6), Rocky Mountain Head Coach Jon Rakiecki led his team’s passionate fight through the entire first half, as the Lobos found themselves only down by a bucket at the end of the second quarter, 18-20. However, the momentum quickly shifted in the second half, as the Titans found themselves outplayed and outscored in the third quarter 19-8, and then 19-8 again in the fourth quarter. As the final buzzer sounded, the Titans sent their fans home happy, with a 58-34 victory. Senior John Cosmann—as he has all season—led the way for Legend with 10 points and 50 percent shooting from the field.

Round Two, March 2: @ Grandview (4)

Although the Grandview Wolves had home court advantage and were fresh off of a first round bye, the Legend fans who traveled out to Aurora outnumbered the home supporters—even though they were confined to a small corner of the bleachers. In the first half, Legend came out hot, leading 35-22 at the half. But the number four seeded Grandview wasn’t going to give in so quickly on their home floor. Fueled by their teammates and their crazy student section, they matched the Titans point for point 20-20 in a high scoring third quarter. And although Grandview fought valiantly in the fourth and left it all on the court, Cosmann once again stepped up big in the clutch for the Titans, knocking down four free throws and a breakaway layup to seal the 75-67 win for Legend. Senior Connor Orgil also had a night to remember, grabbing 12 total rebounds and 8 points.

Sweet 16, March 6 @ Chatfield (1)

Although the Legend faithful were outnumbered, they were not outplayed in Legend’s second consecutive trip to the Sweet 16. Coming into the contest, a red-hot Chatfield Chargers team had won 21 consecutive games and had earned one of the number one seeds in the tournament. Even though the Titans were rightly considered the underdog, Coach Boley’s team came out swinging and led at halftime, 29-21. But in the second half, the Chargers began their charge, holding the Titans to only 5 points in the third quarter. After the break and some crazy Coliseum Crazy support, Legend hung on and outlasted Chatfield 51-49. With the win, the blue and white moved on to their first Great Eight appearance in school history. Junior Zach Mihalicz was all over the boards and dominated the match-up by pulling down 10 rebounds and scoring 11 points after the departure of an injured Blake Truman late in the first half.

Great Eight, March 8: Fairview (2) @ the Denver Coliseum

With the game scheduled for 8:30 p.m., Legend students, parents, siblings, and other high school basketball players filled the Denver Coliseum. Unfortunately, the game didn’t tip off until 9:45 due to the Mountain Vista game running over its time slot, into double overtime. Every player and fan took that as a sign of what was to come, and they were right. Despite starting an hour late, both teams came out firing on all cylinders. When the first half came to a close, the Titans faced two situations that they hadn’t faced all post season. They were down by four, 22-26, and leading scorer Cosmann hadn’t made a basket. Headed into the second half, the Titans regained their winning attitude and began to fight back, as they outscored the Knights by three in the third. After some key defensive stops and some quick points, including an inbounds pass dunk from Orgil, Fairview’s last second heave missed by a few inches and the Titans raised the Final Four trophy in front of their fellow students. Undoubtedly, the player of the game for the Titans was senior Taylor Jenson who knocked down Legend’s only three-point shots as he nailed 3 of 4 from behind the arc. Senior Joey Sloan also put up some solid stats, dishing out 10 assists on the offensive end and 3 steals on the defensive end. Although Cosmann never scored a point, his teammates stepped up and collectively won the game.

Final Four, Tonight: Denver East (1) @ C.U. Events Center

Next up for the Titans are the number one team in the state, the Denver East Angels who spot an incredible 24-2 record, with their only losses coming against the number one team in the nation (Lone Peak High School in Utah) and Army-Navy in California. The two teams will battle it out for a spot in the Colorado 5A State Championship Friday at the Coors Event Center in Boulder.

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