Broken, but not busted: Fatty’s 72-game streak ends, but four-peat follows
BRECKENRIDGE – Its legendary 72-game regular season winning streak ended this year, but when it counted most, the Fatty’s rec basketball dynasty came through in dazzling fashion – as it almost always does.The Breckenridge Competitive Basketball League has been dominated over the years by the boys from Fatty’s. And despite the shocking regular season loss, the three-time defending champs still held the No. 1 seed going into the playoffs. They lived up to the billing once again on Tuesday, wearing down a determined Eric’s squad to run away with a 65-50 championship victory. The title was the eighth in nine years for Fatty’s.With Tuesday’s game still up for grabs at halftime – Fatty’s led 32-31 – the champs came out flying in the second half and opened up a 16-point lead. A 19-4 run made the score 51-35 and the game was all but over.
“The game was decided in the first three minutes of the second half,” said Zack Zellars of Eric’s. “That number one seed is real important. We just didn’t have enough juice left.”In the current playoff format, the semifinals and the finals are all played on a Tuesday night at the Breckenridge Recreational Center. Eric’s, the second seed, played its semifinal game after Fatty’s had already punched its ticket, giving the eventual champs a chance to rest up for the final that followed.Chris Roberts dominated the boards at both ends for Fatty’s, and often fed outlet passes to the speeding Carl Sherve, who sliced toward the hoop and filled it repeatedly. The pair combined for 14 points in the dizzying flurry that put Fatty’s up by 16.”Chris and Carl were just awesome tonight,” veteran and leader Brian Byam said. “The entire team put in an outstanding effort this year, especially considering the injuries we had.”
Three starters were out of the lineup for Fatty’s, making its championship all the more impressive.On Tuesday, Fatty’s kept pace by trading early blows with Eric’s, which was still hot from its semifinal win over Cala Inn just minutes prior.Eric’s looked sharp while hitting 3-pointers early and often. Zellars, John Welaj and Doug Sullivan combined for seven of them in the first half alone. But the trio of Roberts, Sherve and Chris Koehn of Fatty’s matched their opponents with speed, dominant rebounding and 27 combined first-half points.Welaj was the lone firesetter for Eric’s in the second half. He scored nine consecutive points for his team to keep the deficit from reaching the 20s, but he, too, eventually burned out late in the game. Welaj finished with 18 points for the second-place finishers.
Sherve had 21 points for the champions, and Roberts and Koehn finished with 14 apiece.Among the local rec leagues, the Fatty’s hoops dynasty has distinguished itself from the rest in the past couple years. It’s a fact not lost on the Fatty’s players. “We’ve been winning this league (for) even longer than Ullr’s has been winning in flag football,” Eric Bower said of the four-time defending gridiron champs, ranking his team’s success in the process.Matthew Duffy covers rec sports for the Summit Daily News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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