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Fowler boys basketball ready for another run to the Class 2A state finals

David High
Special to the Fowler Tribune

The Fowler High School boys basketball team breezed through last year with a 19-game winning streak in which no opponents came within 10 points by the final horn.

The playoffs saw the Grizzlies beat West Grand and Crested Butte handily in the Class 2A regionals to qualify for the state tournament. They lost to Yuma 55-51 in the first round.

Fowler finished the 2019-2020 season with a 22-3 overall record and 13-0 league mark.

Fowler heads into the 2021 season loaded with experience. Six seniors who were a big part of the Grizzlies' impressive record will hit the floor led by Val Leone, a first-team league selection and a second-team All-State selection. In his junior year, the 6-foot-3 Leone put up big numbers with 18.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.7 steals per game.

The game-action experience of Gabriel Proctor (10.6 points, 4.0 assists, 3.0 steals), Rylee Smith, Braxton Bates, Jackson Bates, Liam Griffy and Kyle Milberger will give the Grizzlies one of the stronger senior contingents in the 2021 Santa Fe League, and class 2A as well.

Juniors Cash Anderson and Bradley Roe round out the talented Fowler squad and will be called on to contribute during a year in which the Grizzlies will face some of the toughest 2A competition in the state.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to play other teams and hope to get better each week and be in a position to advance to the post-season and play the last day of the season," said coach Mark Lowther.

“Our goals are to reach the state championship one game at a time,” said Lowther. “We need to figure out how to gel as a team and each player has a vital role to the success of our team. The schedule gives us a great opportunity to play tough teams night in and night out and see how we stack up.”

Fowler opens Jan. 29 on the road at Colorado Springs Christian, followed by a home clash against La Junta on Jan. 30. They will also host No. 7 Peyton on Feb. 12 and close the regular season on March 6 at No. 1 Limon.

Plenty of questions still surround the 2021 high school basketball season as nearly half the states across the nation have tipped off amid the coronavirus pandemic. As the COVID-19 surge blankets the country and state associations evaluate a safe path to resuming athletics, schedule changes will continue to happen.