By Tim Donohoo
For the Courier
You knew from the beginning that this was going to be an all-out battle on the hardwood. Chatfield, a Sweet 16 participant in last year’s 5A state tournament, hosting Arapahoe, a 2013 state finalist who lost an epic overtime thriller to Denver East. And the two teams didn’t disappoint.
Arapahoe staved off a late Chatfield charge for a 56-55 victory on Dec. 7 at Chatfield Senior High School.
Both squads went through the feeling-out process in the first quarter with good ball movement on both ends and strong defensive fronts and Chatfield utilizing the full-court press early and often.
The Warriors took the lead in a very low scoring first quarter 6-4. All of Chatfield’s points came from senior guard Darius Reiter.
Arapahoe never trailed in the second quarter, outscoring the Chargers 16-14 to take a slim 22-18 halftime advantage. Warriors senior Corbin Atwell led all scorers at the intermission with 11 points. Senior Andrew St. Germain hit for five points for the Chargers.
Arapahoe went on a quick five-point run to put the Warriors in front 44-39 with 6:27 remaining. From that point, Chatfield outscored Arapahoe 16-12 with a golden opportunity to win it with 7.7 seconds left.
Warriors senior James Dalrymple hit a layup to give Arapahoe a 56-55 lead. Following an Arapahoe foul, Chatfield called timeout to set up the game winner; however, Brendan Till, Arapahoe’s catalyst, provided a key steal to seal the Warriors’ victory.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game. Arapahoe is a good team,” Chatfield Senior head coach Steve Schimpeler. “We played poor because of Arapahoe. We had too many turnovers and made too many mistakes. All we can do is put this one behind us. The sign of a good team is how you respond. Time will tell.”
Atwell led the Warriors (3-0) with 17 points. Till and senior Ethan Brunhofer added 13 apiece. Reiter drained 13 points for Chatfield (2-1), while St. Germain hit for nine points.