Fatty’s pulls it out with late run
BRECKENRIDGE – Fatty’s Pizzeria nearly saw its Breckenridge Competitive Basketball League dynasty crumble on Tuesday night, but a late surge gave the defending champs their fifth straight title in runaway fashion over CC&S Construction, 52-42.Despite that 10-point margin, the underdogs truly weren’t out of it until crunch time.”A couple baskets here and there and it goes either way,” said Kyle Gardner of CC&S. “Hats off to them, they pulled it out at the end.”With two minutes to play at the Breckenridge Recreation Center, CC&S was up 40-38 and seemed poised to dethrone the four-time defending champions. But Fatty’s obliterated the deficit with a 14-2 run, including a 9-for-11 performance at the free-throw line.
“We were in the double bonus at that point,” said Rob Byam of Fatty’s. “We had a lot of free throws.”Fatty’s converted 17 of its 22 attempts from the line in the game; in contrast, CC&S hit just 10 of 20 attempts.With both teams having won their semifinal games earlier in the night, fatigue played a part in a slow start to the scoring. Two minutes had ticked off the clock before the veteran squads started trading blows. Gardner hit a long 3-pointer to put CC&S up 5-2, but Mark Kimball answered with consecutive treys of his own to put Fatty’s up 8-5.Christian Koehn drove through the key with a behind-the-back dribble and pulled up to hit a jumper for a 10-7 Fatty’s lead, only to see it erased by six straight CC&S points.CC&S led 21-17 at halftime and started strong in the second half. Powered by three-pointers by Todd Slater and Gardner, the challengers opened up a 29-22 lead, their biggest of the game.
Fatty’s swung the pendulum the other way, though, and Karl Sherve capped an eight-point run with a 10-foot jumper to put Fatty’s on top, 30-29.The lead then changed hands seven times until the final 90 seconds, highlighted by a steal by Sherve and his ensuing layup for a 41-40 Fatty’s lead. Fatty’s pulled down a subsequent defensive rebound and converted at the other end to go up 43-40. CC&S then got aggressive in trying to force turnovers, resulting in a number of late fouls.”They might have started fouling and putting us on the line a little too early,” Kimball said. “It was still a three-point game with almost two minutes left.”Kimball was fouled and hit both of his free throws for a commanding five-point lead with barely a minute to play. Fatty’s then smartly began killing the clock with perimeter passing, forcing CC&S into more fouls.
Execution at the free-throw line then sealed the deal for Fatty’s, winner of five consecutive titles and 12 of 15, according to Byam. “And we did it without Todd Vanderwhite, one of our best players,” he said.Koehn and Kimball each had 12 points to lead a balanced attack for Fatty’s, with Sherve pouring in 10. Gardner and Greg Decker led the way for CC&S, with 11 and 10 points, respectively.”I’m 47 years old,” Koehn said. “When we won last year, I sent the clipping to my dad and told him it wzas probably the last time he’d see me in a championship photo. But here we are again.”Matthew Duffy covers rec sports for the Summit Daily News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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