The Granada Boys team will enter the 1A Boys State Championship Tournament seeded #6 after defeating Sangre de Cristo and Idalia in the regional tournament. Pictured are standing l to r: Head coach Traegon Marquez, Patrick Rains (Mgr.) Aidyn Bohlander (Mgr.), Alan Ayala, Thomas Pete, Oryan Hainer, Luis Cano, Maddox Coleman, Brandon Gonzales, John Hainer, Jonus Guverra, Lupe Martinez, Bailey Hernandez, and asst. coach Kody Wallace. Front l to r: Adam Hainer, Hunter Crabtree, Jose Sanchez, Sebastian Pizzaro (mgr.).
It’s been quite an unusual season for the Granada Bobcats boys’ team as they have struggled with a number of losses—8 to be exact—waiting for various teammates to overcome injury and illness. But by the time the district tournament rolled around the Bobcats were firing on all cylinders. They marched through the District 2 Tournament winning the championship and giving them an automatic host site for regionals.
At their regional tournament the Bobcats had little trouble plowing through both nights of competition on their way to a state tournament berth. On Friday they took on #27 Sangre de Cristo (11-10) and defeated them handily, 61-27.
Then in the regional championship contest on Saturday, the Bobcats controlled an athletic Idalia (#22, 12-11) team using a 17-5 third-quarter spree to win the contest, 48-32.
Coming out of their region Granada is seeded #6 in the 1A Boys State Tournament bracket and ironically matched up with their Hi-Plains League nemesis McClave, who is seeded #3 with a 18-5 overall record.
The CHSAA ranking system failed the difficult Hi-Plains League pitting these two teams against each other in the first round. Both teams are quality teams who have beaten up on each other throughout the season. It is disappointing that Granada and McClave, two teams that could be hard to beat, have to go head-to-head right out of the starting gate.
When they meet on Thurs., March 9 at 10:15 am in Butler-Hancock Arena located on the University of Northern Colorado campus in Greeley, it will be the fourth time this year that the two teams have met up. All three games prior to Thursday were battles. They first met at the Lamar Holiday Tournament championship game back in December when Granada didn’t have one of their main starters, Maddox Coleman, who was healing from a football injury. At the HBT, the Cards won the tournament championship over Granada, 55-47. The next time the two met was in the regular season on January 27. In this game Granada had just gotten Coleman back into the line up but were missing senior sharp-shooter Brandon Gonzales who had suffered through a dangerous illness over the holiday break. Gonzales was still working to get back into the lineup in January. Granada again lost to McClave, 66-48.
But by District tournament time the Bobcats had everyone back and healthy as they met McClave for a third time in the tournament semifinals. This time Granada got the win, 51-44, and went on to win the district championship over Cheyenne Wells. McClave handled Cheraw for third place.
So, now it is McClave vs Granada once again in the first game of the state tournament. Both teams will be firing on all cylinders trying to take advantage of each other’s weaknesses…because, after all, they know each other extremely well.
Granada will bring four players to the state tournament who are scoring in double figures. They will be led by big John Hainer who averages 17.3 points per game and pulls down 9.3 rebounds. He also denies 2.5 shots per game. Coleman comes in with a 11.8 ppg stat with 4.9 rpg and 3.0 assists per game. Jonus Guverra, a very athletic junior forward, averages 10.5 ppg., 5.8 rpg and adds 3.4 steals per game. Finally, the soul of the team, senior Brandon Gonzales, the grandson of legendary Granada coach Manuel Gonzales, averages 8.5 ppg and contributes 3.6 rpg and 2.1 assists per outing.