|Dragons earn state berth as regional champions|
|Written by Kyle Arnoldy|
Holyoke boys have proven time and time again over the season that they are capable of playing with the best basketball teams in state. Over the weekend, the Dragons solidified their spot as one of the top eight programs in 2A, knocking off Limon and Rye at the Region 6 tournament to advance to the state tournament in Pueblo.
Holyoke will face Lutheran Thursday, March 13 at Colorado State University-Pueblo at 5:30 p.m.
Logan Tharp wrestles for a loose ball in the paint during Saturday’s physical match with Rye.
Holyoke 64, Rye 47
Squaring off with the top-seeded Thunderbolts at Otero Junior College in La Junta, the second-seeded Dragons secured their spot at the state tournament in Pueblo by pulling off a 64-47 upset Saturday, March 8 in the regional championship.
The Dragons have had a penchant for quick starts this year, and Saturday with Rye was no different. Logan Tharp helped HHS set the tone early, fighting for offensive rebounds to get the first points of the game, and then stepping in front of a Rye ball handler to take a charge on the next possession.
Holyoke proceeded to build on the momentum, stringing together a 9-0 run to open the game. Defensively the Dragons were able to impose their will on Rye, forcing the higher-seeded squad to turn the ball over on seven of their first eight possessions.
“That was the best defense we played all year,” coach Scott Dille said. He went on to praise Bradley Cumming for his tight defense against Rye’s guards, noting that the pesky defender made it difficult for the Thunderbolt perimeter players to be very effective.
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