GRANADA BOBCATS were the 1A Boys Consolation Champions at the 2023 state tournament. Pictured are (front l to r) Alan Ayala, Adam Hainer, Brandon Gonzales, Oryan Hainer, Jose Sanchez, Sebastian Pizzaro (Mgr). (Back l to r) Head Coach Traegon Marquez, Aidyn Bohlander (mgr), Lupe Martinez, Luis Cano, Thomas Pete, Bailey Hernandez, Jonus Guverra, John Hainer, Maddox Coleman, Hunter Crabtree, Asst. Coach Kody Wallace, Patrick Rains (mgr).
The Granada boys basketball team defeated the Otis Bulldogs 70-57, to claim the 5th place trophy, Consolation Championship, in the Class 1A State Basketball Championship on Saturday morning at the UNC Bank of Colorado Arena in Greeley.
Granada capped the season with a 17-9 record.
The Bobcats entered the 1A Boys State Tournament with a #6 seed which pitted them against conference foe McClave (#3) for the fourth time in the season in the state quarterfinals. They would lose that contest in an exciting game, 71-64.
It was anyone’s game with just under four minutes left in the third quarter when Granada’s big man John Hainer picked up his fourth foul and was forced to take to the bench. His absence was felt as the rest of the Bobcats battled to hold off the Cardinals.
The difference in the game came in the third quarter when McClave outscored Granada, 27-14, and grabbed a 53-43 lead.
The Cardinals took advantage of strong rebounding for ball possession and were also sparked by a barrage of shots from behind the three-point arc to drain six 3’s in that quarter alone.
Granada fans wondered if Hainer’s return would turn the tables back toward the Bobcats who had previously held a 29-26 lead at halftime.
Unfortunately, the officials in Greeley did not allow Hainer much leeway and he quickly was nailed with his fifth foul with more than seven minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Granada was able to cut McClave’s lead to 56-53 with 4:31 left to play before the Cardinals scored four unanswered points to gain some breathing room with a 60-53 lead.
The Cardinals extended their lead to 10 points, 66-56, with under two minutes left in the game to hold off the Bobcats.
McClave senior Aiden Martinez had a tremendous double-double performance for the Cardinals with 23 points and pulled down 16 rebounds.
Granada’s Maddox Coleman led all scorers with 24 points and shooting guard Brandon Gonzales hit for 14 points.
The loss pitted Granada against Genoa-Hugo in the consolation semifinals on Friday afternoon. In that contest the Granada boys survived a barrage of Trey Smith 3-balls from Genoa-Hugo in the fourth quarter winning, 61-60.
Maddox Coleman made 1-of-2 free throws with just :12 seconds remaining in the contest giving Granada a 61-57 lead. That free throw proved to be the difference in the game, as with the Bobcats all over him, junior Trey Smith hit a three at the buzzer leaving the final with Granada barely advancing.
Smith had a phenomenal 40-point performance.
The win over Genoa-Hugo moved the Granada Bobcats to the 1A State Consolation Championship game on Saturday where they impressed the Green faithful with a dominating 70-57 win over Otis.
Despite the unfortunate first-round match with McClave, the Granada boys played some good basketball at the state tournament and should be extremely happy what they achieved in this a very emotional roller-coaster season where they battled so much in order earn the hardware they were able to come home with.
Granada loses three starters to senior graduation that represented an effective triangle including point guard Oryan Hainer, sharp-shooter Brandon Gonzales, and big man John Hainer. Two other seniors gave a tremendous amount of help off the bench including Luis Cano and Bailey Hernandez.