Cyclones fall in OT to Rampart, suffer first loss of 2016-17
During Pueblo West’s 2016 state championship run, one of its three losses came to 5A Rampart.
Saturday, the Cyclones again couldn’t solve the tall Rampart squad, watching a fourth quarter lead slip away as Pueblo West fell 69-65 in overtime to the Rams to suffer its first loss of the season.
The loss halted Pueblo West’s 18-game win streak dating back to last season, and was almost one year to the day since its last loss to the Rams.
Cyclone head coach Bobby Tyler said Rampart’s height, with six players at 6-foot-3 or taller, wreaked havoc on Pueblo West’s guard-heavy attack.
“Going in, I knew that our biggest lineup wouldn’t be as big as them,” Tyler said, “so we decided to go in with four guards on them. But those big bodies, pounding on you every time to go to the basket, took a toll.”
Pueblo West began on a 9-0 run, looking like it would run away with it.
But Rampart slowly chipped away at the lead, cutting the Cyclone advantage to 50-43 entering the fourth quarter.
Rampart tied it up at the end of regulation to send it to overtime, outscoring the Cyclones 10-6 in the overtime period to claim the win.
Tyler said it all came down to points in the paint.
Despite going a healthy 9-for-20 on three-point attempts, Pueblo West was just 14-for-44 on two-point field goals, just 31.8 percent.
“Stat-wise, we out-rebounded them, shot lights-out from three and only had 12 turnovers,” Tyler said. “Everything was good except that two-point percentage. We didn’t finish well in the paint, and if you can’t get those easy buckets, you won’t win those types of games.”
The loss dropped the Cyclones to 8-1 and out of the top spot in the CHSAANow.com 4A boys basketball rankings for the first time this season. The Cyclones currently sit at number two, a spot behind Valor Christian, the team it defeated last season in the 4A state championship.
Tyler said there’s no shame in losing to Rampart, which moved to 7-3 following its win over Pueblo West.
“I think that Rampart is probably the best team in Colorado Springs,” Tyler said. “They’ve got a lot of pieces and have a great coach in J’on St. Clair. They played I think as good as they could, using a triangle-and-two defense on us and I should’ve had something to combat that.”
Pueblo West will face Colorado Springs Christian in Colorado Springs Saturday night in a battle of last season’s 3A and 4A state champions. Tuesday, the Cyclones begin its South Central League schedule, traveling to Pueblo County High School to take on the Hornets.