LITTLETON — Chatfield’s men’s basketball locker room swelled with celebration late Thursday night.
Not only did the Chargers end their three-game losing streak with a 75-50 victory over Westminster, they also gave Brady Stambaugh (Chatfield’s junior national team head coach) their first winning coach at national team level.
“Coach Stambaugh was my English teacher in sixth grade, and then I taught him in seventh and eighth grades. Shay Ramsey said. “For him and some other boys, it was big for me. I’m so happy to be able to do it for him.”
Stambaugh served as head coach of the national team for two weeks after Chatfield national team head coach Eric Buehler gave birth to his first son on December 5.
“It’s a really good feeling. It’s really nice to get one,” Stambaugh said of the win after three losses since substituting for Buehler. I hope.”
The midnight win came in the final of four games on day one of the inaugural Charger Challenge tournament. Chatfield’s victory allowed the host school to return to Chatfield High School to face Castle His View (7-1) in the championship semi-finals at 7:30 pm on Friday.
Cherokee Trail and Albada West will play in another championship semi-final scheduled for Friday at 6pm.
“Winning the first game of a tournament is always important,” Stambo said. “We want to stay on the winning side of the bracket and have tougher competition. We know Castle he View is a good team.”
The Sabrecats beat Pomona 75-43 in the third game of the night. Castleview had a close 19-0 lead in the first quarter and a 35-9 lead in the second.
Castle View had four players – Evan McKean, Owen Clarke, Seth Harris and Vittorio Dante – all finishing in double figures. Led by junior Josh Mondragon, Pomona gave the Panthers a game-high 18 points (4-4).
Chatfield appeared to win by 25 points, but they were in jeopardy in the third quarter. Westminster (3-3) cut his 35-21 halftime lead over the Chargers to 37-32 as he cut it to five points with 5:45 remaining in the third quarter.
“That was the biggest moment of the game,” Stambaugh said of how Chatfield reacted to the Wolves’ second-half run. “We knew how important this game was. We knew that without this win, the season could spiral in the wrong direction.”
The Chargers regained control and momentum with a 9-0 run over a minute to push the lead back to 46-32. Liam McGuire, a junior, made a three-point shot and started running. Sophomore Riley Sudus, junior Owen Marik, and Drew Rollman put Chargers leader Ramsey on the bench for a shot at Kieran.
“I love seeing my teammates succeed,” Ramsey said of watching the decisive 9-0 run from the bench. “We just played hard.
Stambo added how important Ramsey was to the win. Ramsey scored a team-high 14 points and scored a key block defensively in the second half.
Ten Chargers emerged victorious. The senior cutter painter scored his 13 points, including his 6-for-6 from the free-throw line. Junior Colin Mote and Rollman each scored 11 goals.
Westminster were led by senior Armando Gomes, who scored a team-high 14 points.
500 before the break,” Ramsey said. “I think we’re here to compete. Actually, we’re getting better and better every day.”
After Friday’s consolation and championship semi-finals, the tournament concludes on Saturday with games at 12:30pm, 2:00pm, 3:30pm and the title game at 5:00pm.