FORT COLLINS - Their reign is over but what a tremendous storm it has been.
Faith Christian boys basketball team didn’t win their sixth consecutive state championship but what they did this season will go down as just as memorable of an achievement.
The Eagles went from a downtrodden team in the middle of a rebuilding season to a No. 21 seed that made yet another magical run through the state basketball tournament.
But Faith Christian’s reign over the 3A basketball world finally ended out as they were beaten by No. 4 Brush 47-43 in the Great 8 of the 3A Colorado High School State Basketball Tournament Thursday at the Coors Event Center.
“We had a great run,” Faith Christian coach Andrew Hasz said. “And even though our season didn’t end exactly as we planned I am still just really proud of our guys and everything we accomplished.”
Sophomore Spencer Bazz led the Eagles with 16 points and senior Christian Cambier chipped in with seven points, but Faith Christian wasn’t able to close the gap that Brush opened up early in the contest.
The Eagles were only able to generate six points of offense in the first quarter and as a result they were forced to play catch-up over the final three quarters of the game.
Faith Christian wasn’t able to overcome a complete team effort from a Brush team that was one of the elite teams in 3A all season. Brush was led by junior Geoffrey Dunkers and his 16 points.
But don’t pity Faith Christian too much. They just capped off one of the dominate runs in the history of Colorado high school athletics.
Coach Hasz has led the Eagles to five straight state championships — and nearly a sixth before they were finally brought down by Brush.
However, how they got to the Great 8 this season is what was so special.
The Eagles finished their season 16-11, but at one point in their season they were 2-6 and that was before they later dropped four of five games in the middle of their season.
Instead of throwing in the towel and declaring their campaign as a rebuilding season, the Eagles instead came together and soared to 11 victories over their last 13 games.
“After our loss to our rival Holy Family in late January we were all a little bit distraught in the locker room. We knew we were better than that and that is when the light went on for us and we started to play really good team basketball,” Cambier said.
And while they aren’t able to raise another banner in their gym’s rafters as state champions, this season has certainly been special in its own right.
“We started to get used to each other and used to playing for each other and we started winning. It took a while for us to find our chemistry but once we did we turned into a pretty good team - a team to be proud of,” Hasz said.
After the Brush loss in the Great 8 the Eagles won two more consolation games (48-46 win over Sterling on Friday, and a 66-42 win over Colorado Academy on Saturday) and finished their season as the fifth best team in all of 3A hoops.