The sixth-seeded Fowler High School boys basketball team faced a nine-point deficit in its Class 2A State Tournament game against third-seeded and defending two-time state champion Yuma late in the contest Thursday at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland.
The Grizzlies made a comeback attempt and even had a chance to tie the score. However, the comeback fell short as Fowler lost to the Indians 55-51.
Things looked good early for the Grizzlies as they took a 9-2 lead. Val Leone scored four points in the runs, Gabriel Proctor scored three and Johnathan Mobbley added two.
Yuma closed to within 9-7 after a 3-point basket by Javier Gamboa and a layup by Clay Robinson.
Mobbley scored two more baskets and Leone made a three to push the Fowler lead to 16-9. But Robinson scored five points in the final 92 seconds of the first quarter to bring the Indians within an 18-14 deficit at the end of the period.
Robinson opened the second quarter with a trey and Rolando Caraveo also swished a 3-pointer to give Yuma its first lead at 20-18. Robinson scored again to increase the lead to 22-18.
Braxton Bates made one of two from the free throw line, but that turned out to be the Grizzlies' only point of the period. Caraveo scored another basket to give the Indians a 24-19 advantage at halftime.
Caraveo scored the first points of the third quarter, but Leone made a three to cut the deficit to 26-22. Caraveo scored again, but Leone scored eight more points, including two 3-pointers, to give the Grizzlies a 30-29 edge.
Chase McCreath split at the line to tie the score, but Leone made his third trey of the quarter to put Fowler back on top at 33-30.
Robinson made one of two free throws, and McCreath scored in the paint to deadlock the score at 33-33. Proctor made one of two from the charity stripe, but McCreath and Robinson both scored to give Yuma a 37-34 lead at the end of the third.
Mobbley made a jumper to begin the fourth quarter, but Gamboa made two straight baskets to increase the Yuma lead to 41-36.
The Indians closed to within three points on three occasions, but Robinson made a pair of free tosses and Caraveo scored again for a 49-42 Indians lead.
Leone's layup brought the Grizzlies within five, but Robison and Caraveo both made two free throws for a 53-44 Yuma lead with 1:29 to play.
Mobbley drove for a layup, and after Gamboa split at the line, Proctor drained a trey. After a Yuma turnover, Leone drove for a layup to cut the deficit to 54-51.
The Grizzlies got a break after a Yuma played stepped out of bounds. Leone attempted a game-tying three, but missed.
Robinson split at the line with eight seconds to play to seal the game.
The loss ended Fowler's 19-game winning streak.
Leone led the Grizzlies with 24 points and Mobbley scored 14.
Robinson was Yuma's top scorer with 27 points, Caraveo scored 11 and Gamboa scored 10.
Fowler (22-3) will play Peyton, a 43-34 loser to Limon, Friday at 1:15 p.m. at the Budweiser Events Center.
Should the Grizzlies win, they will play in the fifth-place game, which will be played Saturday at the University of Northern Colorado's Bank of Colorado Arena in Greeley. A loss will end the season.
NOTES: Crowds were sparse for each of the games at the state tournament because of concerns over the coronavirus. Fans were not allowed to enter the arena until just a few minutes before their game began. Fans were also required to leave the arena following their game.
Yuma 55, Fowler 51
Fowler --- Bitter 1 0-0 3, Proctor 2 1-2 7, Leone 8 4-4 24, B. Bates 1 1-3 3, Mobbley 7 0-0 14, Griffy 0 0-0 0, Anderson 0 0-0 0, Smith 0 0-0 0, J. Bates 0 0-0 0, Hernandez 0 0-0 0, B. Manchego 0 0-0 0. Total 19 6-9 51.
3-point goals --- Leone 4, Proctor 2, Bitter 1.
Yuma --- Morton 0 0-0 0, Caraveo 4 2-2 11, McCreath 2 1-4 5, Robinson 8 9-13 27, Rascon 1 0-0 2, Gamboa 4 1-2 10. Total 20 13-21 55.
3-point goals --- Robinson 2, Caraveo 1, Gamboa 1.
Fowler 18 1 15 17 --- 51
Yuma 14 10 13 18 --- 55
Fouls --- Fowler 20, Yuma 9. Fouled out --- Bitter, J. Bates.