Breck Ski Resort pulls it out in tight hoops title game
BRECKENRIDGE – No fewer than six lead changes bounced the Breckenridge Recreational Basketball League’s title game back and forth all the way to the end Thursday night. Then, in the final minute, Breckenridge Ski Resort pulled away from the undermanned Extreme Pizza Dream Team for a 58-48 victory at the Breck Rec Center.Breck Ski Resort (BSR) used a four-on-five advantage to score the game’s last 10 points and win going away. Afterward Rick Geise, who led the way for the champs with 13 points, left little doubt as to the night’s next step. “The celebration’s at Salt Creek!” he exclaimed.Despite the one-sided deciding stretch, however, Thursday’s game played out every bit the way a final should. The two evenly matched, hungry squads traded blow for blow for most of the game.
The eventual losers took charge early. Having won its semifinal match just 20 minutes earlier, Extreme Pizza began the final with carryover momentum. Steve McKeever got into foul trouble quickly for the Dream Team, but it seemed to be a side note as his team rolled to an early 17-11 lead.Stacey Todd’s subsequent aggression under the hoop put her on the free-throw line twice, though, which helped Breck Ski Resort pull back within two. “She’s a huge player for us,” said BSR’s Garret Brock. He didn’t intend a pun, but at 6-foot-2 Todd’s presence in the key has been integral to BSR’s success all season.Todd, who oversees both the rec and competitive leagues, was the only female on the court in the final game. “I like it,” she said. “I’ve always played pick-up against guys and it’s a good challenge.”Her teammate, George Repine, hit an uncontested 3-pointer to give BSR its first lead at 20-19. Late in the game, Repine would reclaim the lead for good on a spectacular play.
By halftime, Extreme Pizza had fought back atop the see-saw by a 27-24 margin. The Dream Team played both its games with no substitutes, and it began to show as time was running down. Vance Walker’s hot hand kept the Dream alive, though, hitting two 3-pointers and a long jumper to keep pace with BSR’s increasing speed.With the score 32-32, Brandon Fischer knifed through the key before dishing to McKeever for an easy layup, giving the Dream Team another short-lived lead. Kyle Martin answered with a 3 to put BSR back on top, 35-34.From there, Extreme Pizza rallied with an eight-point run for its biggest lead of the night, then cooled off. “Fatigue was a factor,” Dream Teamer Mark Lindelof said while catching his breath after the game. “Toward the end of the game, we weren’t making all the right decisions.”After a defensive rebound by Breck Ski Resort, Mike Kelley fired a long pass to a sprinting Repine, who cut under the hoop and spun the ball off the glass on a reverse layup, giving his team a 50-48 lead and boosting its morale with the impressive basket. BSR picked up the pace with several fast breaks and surged to 54-48.
“They really caught fire at the end of the second half,” said EP’s Lindelof. With McKeever fouled out of the game, the sub-less Dream Team was forced to play at a man disadvantage for the last minute, blocking off what was already a tough hill to climb. BSR closed it out with four more unanswered points.Cody Bentley of Extreme Pizza led all scorers with 14 points in a valiant losing effort.Matthew Duffy covers rec sports for the Summit Daily News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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