Broncos survive late charge from Ebarb

Published 1:30 pm Saturday, February 26, 2022

By Daniel Green |  BWS Sports

SIMPSON — The fourth-seeded and defending Class C champion Simpson Broncos got a combined 46 points from seniors Ethan Nash, Brayden Cutts, Braxton Basco and Tristin Williams as they held on for a 48-46 win over district rival and 13th-ranked Ebarb Rebels on Friday night in the Class C regional playoffs.

“Having seniors on the court is a great help,” Simpson head coach Jade Losavio said. “It’s always good to have leadership on the court.”

The quartet of Simpson seniors seemed to deliver in all the key moments. After being held scoreless in the first half, Cutts came up big in the second half as he reached double figures. Ethan Nash connected on 75 percent of his free throws, while Basco hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer at the end of the third quarter, which eventually proved to be the difference. And Williams was all over the court defensively, getting big steal after big steal.

And as a result, the Broncos will host No. 5 Pleasant Hill in the quarterfinals.

The Broncos opened the game on a 5-0 run, but Ebarb answered right back with a quick 9-0 spurt to take the lead. Simpson managed to get a late basket in the first period to cut the gap to 9-7 entering the second period.

The pace of play slowed even more in the second period, with the two teams being knotted at 13-13 before Simpson moved to a three-point advantage at the halftime intermission, 16-13.

The scoring pace picked up a bit in the second half as Simpson built a 29-25 lead late in the frame. The Broncos had one last opportunity, but seemed to have run out of time as the ball bounced out of bounds.

However, 0.67 seconds was placed back on the clock and Basco drilled a three-pointer before the buzzer to give Simpson a 32-25 lead.

Simpson’s advantage grew to 34-25 early in the fourth, but the Rebels battled back behind Keelan Parrie and Alec Remedies. Remedies, who hadn’t scored in the contest, put together a solid 16-point quarter, helping Ebarb come back to three points, 46-43.

But with 11 seconds left, Nash stepped to the line for Simpson with two shots, after hitting his first, Ebarb used its final timeout to set up a shot on the other end.

Nash connected on the second free throw and Ebarb quickly moved down the court, where Remedies hit a three-pointer with just under five seconds to play. However, Simpson didn’t touch the ball coming out of the net and the time ran out, preserving the victory.

Nash led Simpson with 15 points, while Basco and Cutts added 13 and 12 points, respectively.

Remedies paced Ebarb with 16 points, all in the fourth quarter, while Parrie finished with 12 points.