Alamosa hands No. 6 Centauri their first loss of the season

Centauri’s Owen Richardson (11) and Mason Claunch (12) defend Alamosa senior Brenden Crowther (11) during Friday’s game in Alamosa. (VC/Jiron)

ALAMOSA — A highly anticipated meeting between Intermountain League (IML) rivals didn’t disappoint. Alamosa boys basketball grounded the Falcons with a 59-43 win at home.

The Falcons (13-1, 4-1 IML) entered Friday’s game ranked 6th in the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) Coaches Poll and boasted a perfect record after having run both their home tournament and the La Junta Holiday Shootout in December.

Alamosa (10-4, 5-0) recently found themselves on a hot streak since beginning their league schedule with four straight wins entering Friday’s game.

When the action got underway, the two teams jostled a little for position. Alamosa would take the first meaningful lead of the game with Lincoln Tuioti-Mariner and Ian Jackson combining for a 4-point run to put the Moose ahead 11-7.

Centauri’s Alec Holman got the final word of the quarter to cut the lead to 11-9. The Moose continued to push the pace in the second.

Centauri’s Baron Holman single-handedly retook the lead for Centauri with five straight points to start the quarter. In response, Alamosa ripped off 11 unanswered points spearheaded by 7 from senior Ian Jackson to take a 22-14 lead. Jackson would finish the night with 15 points.

Centauri’s Cody Bagwell helped get Centauri close before the end of the quarter with 4 points but Alamosa would lead at the half 25-20. Back from the break, Centauri was sure not to suffer any lulls that created the predicament they were in. Competitive play would result in seven straight points from the visitors tie the game at 30-30.

The two teams would go back and forth to Alamosa leading a 37-35 game entering the final quarter.

There, the Mean Moose would pull away again. Brenden Crowther bookended a Jackson three-pointer for a 7-point run from the home team, Alamosa leading 44-35 early in the fourth.

The visiting Falcons would add 5 more to close the distance to 44-40 midway through the final chapter. Centauri’s offense got plenty of shots off but Alamosa cleaned the boards well thanks to the athleticism of Tuioti-Mariner. The fact that Centauri shot an unofficial 28 percent from the field in the fourth quarter didn’t help matters.

Alamosa would string together a late 10-point run with Isaiah Harrell and Donovan Ramirez each contributing 4 points. Intentional fouling didn’t slow the Moose down as Alamosa would continue to pile on with free throws to the eventual 59-43 conclusion.

Alamosa’s Brenden Crowther had a great night banking 23 points in the win and going 13 of 15 from the charity stripe. Centauri’s Baron Holman led Centauri in scoring with two 3-pointers and totaling 13 points. The loss is the first of the year for Centauri who now relent first place in the IML to Alamosa. The Mean Moose’s second big win against a ranked opponent will go a long way towards entering Alamosa into a top-ten conversation.

Alamosa will look to build on that momentum when Bayfield (1-12, 0-4 IML) visits on Saturday night. Centauri can move on quickly if they can complete the league sweep of Pagosa Springs (6-7, 1-3 IML) on Saturday. The Falcons took the first meeting with Pagosa 52-42. Alamosa and Centauri will meet once again on February 15th.

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