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Pirates stun Falcons in semifinal game

Posted: Friday, Mar 15th, 2013

Centauri's Tori Fringer (43) goes for a jumper on Friday night. Fringer scored six points in the loss.

Courier Sports Editor

FORT COLLINS—A dominating 17-2 run by the St. Mary’s Pirates in in the final 8:45 ended Centauri’s bid at their first state championship since 2006 as the Pirates won, 31-19 in Friday night’s Class 3A semifinal game here at Moby Arena on the campus of CSU here in Fort Collins.

The inability to connect on field goals was the doom of the Falcons. As a team, the Falcons connected on 6-of-39 (15.4 percent) from the field and 1-of-14 (7.14 percent) from beyond the arch. They were able to hit 6-of-10 (60 percent) of their free throw attempts. Centauri did win the points off rebounds category 11-8 and narrowly won the rebounding battle, 30-28.

The Pirates opened up the game with a quick 3-pointer, but the Falcons came roaring back with a 7-0 run, with Fringer as the catalyst with a deep 3-pointer to take a 7-3 lead. The Pirates countered and tied the game at 7 with 3:15 left. Fringer was able to give the Falcons an 8-7 lead before a deep 3-pointer by St. Mary’s regained the lead 10-8 with two minutes left. Gallegos hit 1-of-2 free throws to close out the scoring in the quarter, and the Falcons trailed 10-9.

The game was physical in the second quarter as both teams battled for possession of the ball and neither team was able to score for the first 2:22 of the quarter. Wilson scored the first bucket of the quarter with 5:38 left to give the Falcons an 11-10 lead. Gallegos, who was on the receiving end of one of the physical plays, cashed in on two free throw opportunities to take a 13-10 lead.

A 4-0 run by the Pirates gave them a 14-13 lead before the Falcons finally reached bonus situation. With 1:08 left, the Falcons were able to regain the lead as Wilson hit two free throws.

The start of the third quarter was less physical than the second quarter but it took longer for either team to crack the score board as Fringer scored with 5:03 remaining to make it a 3-point game, 17-14. The defensive battle continued until St. Mary’s was able to break the stalemate with a layup with 1:20 left. Neither team was able to score in the final two minutes and the score was 17-16 going into the final quarter of regulation.

The Pirates opened up a 2-point lead off a 3-pointer after a minute drained from the clock forcing the Falcons to stumble a little. The two teams had several chances to score in the next two minutes but two reverse layups by the Falcons and two free throw shots by St. Mary’s were fruitless forcing the Pirates to call a timeout with 4:57 remaining. With 4:20 left, the Pirates scored a jumper to make the score 21-17 and a 4-point lead. A flurry of turnovers and missed shots ensued for the Falcons forcing them to go into a half-court man-to-man defense with 3:30 left.

The Falcons then went into panic mode as they attempted to break through and nail 3-pointers to close the gap. The missed shots helped the Pirates capitalize on their final run for the win.

The Falcons will now be in the third place contest at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

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