Shooting woes, broken nose lead to 48-23 playoff loss to Jim Ned
The Breckenridge Bucks took it on the nose during the 48-23 Area round playoff loss to Jim Ned, literally.
With three minutes remaining in the first half, Bucks sophomore guard Anthony Ramirez and Indian senior Brady Leissner collided around the Breckenridge free throw line.
Ramirez was left with a broken nose and a bloody gash that later required 12 stitches to close. He never returned to the game.
In some ways, neither did the Bucks
Jim Ned, which was leading 14-8 at the time, quickly went to full-court pressure.
A 6-0 run to close out the half left the shell-shocked Bucks trailing 20-8 at the half as they stumbled to the locker room.
They never recovered.
"Losing Anthony had a huge impact," Bucks coach Rob Ogle said. "He is the quarterback of our offense. He makes our offense much more fluid.
"Defensively, he is our catalyst. He averages six to seven steals a game and he just makes our team better when he is on the floor. The game was still manageable before he went out."
The incident is reminiscent of how the past two Buckaroo football seasons have ended with quarterback Pedro Ramirez suffering a game-ending injury.
Losing Ramirez wasn't the only issue for Breckenridge. The Bucks were unable to throw the ball in the ocean.
Breckenridge shot a miserable 19 percent from the field. The shooting issues were even more evident at the free throw line. The Bucks converted eight of 25 attempts for 32 percent.
Jim Ned led 8-5 after the first quarter as both defenses forced turnovers and difficult shots.
Breckenridge tried to switch things up defensively to start the second half.
Without their defensive spark plug, the changes weren't enough.
The Indians opened the half with a 10-3 run. Breckenridge never got within 18 points the remainder of the game.
Three seniors played their final game for the Bucks.
With senior post Lane Morris already on the floor and three minutes remaining, Ogle was able to insert senior guard Gerardo Duron and senior post Alex Benitez into the contest.
Shortly afterwards, the trio was able to come off the court while the Buckaroo fans showed their appreciation for the seniors.
"I wanted to send the seniors out in a way that they will always remember," Ogle said. "I informed the officials that I was going to bring them off the floor together to honor them for their hard work and sacrifice the past four years. I'm extremely proud and very glad I had the opportunity to coach these young men."
"It's disappointing to end the season like this," Morris said. "This is a great group of guys and we've been able to lay a foundation of success. I'm really proud to have been a part of the program with these coaches and players."
The Buckaroo stands were filled to overflow capacity with a supportive group that made the trip to Stamford.
"Our fans were great tonight," Ogle said. "We really appreciate the turnout and them standing behind our team and program like that."
Juniors Rigo Gallegos and Caleb Spoon led the team in scoring with six points apiece. Anthony Ramirez and Morris both chipped in with three points.
Freshman Mateo Ramirez and Duron added two points each while sophomore Alain Franco had one point.
Jim Ned seniors scored 46 of their 48 points, Leissner lead the team with 16 points.
Spoon pulled down a team-high eight rebounds. Morris grabbed four rebounds while Gallegos had two.
Benitez, Duron and junior Clay Boaz each added one rebound.
Spoon added three assists and three steals. Anthony Ramirez and Mateo Ramirez passed out one assist apiece.
Anthony Ramirez swiped two steals. Gallegos, Benitez, Boaz, Franco, Morris and Mateo Ramirez each had one steal.
"I'm very proud of what this team was able to accomplish," Ogle said. "We finished 26-5, while winning the first district title in 16 years and only the second one in the last 35 years. We are beginning to establish winning consistency; not just at the varsity level, but at all levels. Our sub-varsity as well as our junior high teams all had great seasons. I'm very optimistic about the program and the direction in which it is moving."
The Bucks will have six players returning from the varsity, including four starters.