DENVER - Let us first start by saying this. If you missed the 5A Final Four match-up between Rock Canyon and Eaglecrest Friday night, you missed more action than the other boys' semifinal games combined. In a wild and thrilling finish, the Raptors edged the Jaguars 61-60 in overtime to return to the 5A boys basketball championship.
The game contained a total of 12 lead changes and five ties, with each team going on a significant run.
Rock Canyon came out on a whole different level. The Jags shocked the Raptors by taking a commanding 28-20 lead at the half behind junior Sam Masten, who led both teams with 14 points after two quarters.
But the rise of the Raptors was yet to come. Eaglecrest bounced back in the third quarter, outscoring their opponents 20-13, and cut the deficit to just one heading into the fourth quarter. From there -- and fans, back us up -- it was a blur. The final eight minutes of play were a back-and-fourth affair, with each team taking the lead from the other before settling on a tie.
So, that meant time for overtime. Eaglecrest standout Colbey Ross was the first to score in the extra four minutes, but Rock Canyon came back to take a four point lead with just over a minute to go. It didn't phase their opponents. This game would be tied with just 0.8 seconds left in overtime, when Eaglecrest's Josh Walton was fouled and went tot he line.
After missing the first of two free throws, this game seemed almost destined for another overtime quarter. But Walton sank the second shot, punching his team's ticket to Saturday's state title game against George Washington. Walton finished with 13 points.
Ross, who led his team to last year's state championship against Overland, again carried the Raptors in this game. He scored 25 points and dished out five assists in the win.
Masten was a standout for the Jaguars, with a game high 34 points. He led his team on a fantastic run, which put Rock Canyon in its first Final Four in school history.
The 5A boys' state title game tips off at 8:30 p.m. Saturday night at the Denver Coliseum. It will follow the 5A girls' championship battle between No. 2 Grandview and No. 9 Lakewood.
Tune in to the Saturday morning Prep Rally for more highlights from this exciting Final Four game.
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