Late shot upends Sierra Grande boys in loss to Granada

Photo by Ken Hamrick Sierra Grande High School's Isiah Chairez (12) moves past McClave's Eddie Verdu (24) in Friday's Class 1A State Tournament semifinal game at the University of Northern Colorado's Bank of Colorado Arena. The Panthers lost to McClave 53-35 and then lost to Granada in the third-place game 63-61 on Saturday.

GREELEY — After a tough 53-35 loss to McClave on Friday, the top-seeded Sierra Grande boys basketball team fell into the third-place game against third-seeded Granada Saturday at the University of Northern Colorado’s Bank of Colorado Arena.

The Panthers had a late lead in the game, but a late 3-point basket by Granada’s Brandon Gonzales sent Sierra Grande to a 63-61 loss to finish fourth in the state.

The Bobcats led 20-8 after the first quarter, but the Panthers rallied to cut the deficit to 35-27 at halftime. Sierra Grande continued the momentum and closed to within 51-48 at the end of the third quarter.

The Panthers had a 61-60 lead with 10 seconds remaining, but they missed the front end of a 1-and-1 foul shot situation. The Bobcats got the rebound and pushed the ball upcourt where Gonzales hit the game-winning shot with 6 seconds to play.

Sierra Grande drew up a play and put up a 3-point attempt at the buzzer but missed.

Isiah Chairez led the Panthers with 30 points, followed by Thomas Archuleta with 17.

Sierra Grande’s final record was 24 wins and two losses.