DeGray’s Double Double Leads Chaparral Over Rock Canyon
Overheard walking in to the Chaparral packed gym, “I missing the CU game for this, they better win,” said a Rock Canyon fan. They should have went to the CU game. Instead, they got to see the Chaparral Wolverines blow past the Rock Canyon Jaguars in the first quarter and cruise to a 73-57 victory over the previously unbeaten and #1 ranked team in the state in front of a capacity crowd Friday night. Junior wing Ronnie DeGray III scored 10 of Chaparral’s 19 points in the first quarter as the Wolverines opened up a 12 point lead. It’s not like the Jaguars haven’t started off slow before and find a way to get it going but not this night. The Wolverines defense would not allow it. Rock Canyon’s Senior trio of Sam Masten, Tyson Gilbert, and Blake Williams were stifled in the first quarter by Chaparral’s defense. None of the guards could find an open shot and only Masten was able to notch a field goal off a putback of a missed shot in the first quarter.
The Wolverines defense though may have been a little to overzealous and put Rock Canyon in the double bonus with almost 7 minutes left in the second quarter. That kept Chaparral from blowing the Jaguars away in the first half as Rock Canyon scored 9 of their 14 points in the quarter at the free throw line. Chaparral always hit the timely bucket in the quarter to maintain their double digit lead. One possession it was a set play for DeGray to get a shot at the high post, or it was sophomore Kobe Sanders draining a 3-pointer with a minutes left before half time to put the lead back in double figures. Rock Canyon could not string together the stops to get a comeback going.
Bryce Matthews started off hot in the second half for Chaparral. The junior forward made and easy lay up and then caught a monster oop to get the Chaparral student section worked up into a frenzy. Masten and Gilbert pushed the issue a bit more and got a couple of buckets to fall. But again the Jaguars couldn’t get the rebounds away from DeGray or Matthews and couldn’t cut into the lead. However, the Wolverines were not able to build a huge cushion but maintained a double digit lead going into the fourth quarter.
As the fourth quarter started Chaparral looked to take the air out of the ball and have time melt off the clock. Then the game began to get interesting as the Jaguars started to amp up the defensive pressure. Tyson Gilbert was whistled for a technical after expressing his disagreement with one of the referee’s call. With the Wolverines up 12, they could have stretched the lead to as many as 16 but missed free throws thwarted that. Then Rock Canyon’s Blake Williams sustained a lower keg injury forcing Gilbert back into the game with four fouls. He lasted less than 20 seconds and fouled out on a charge call. That seemed to motivate the Jaguars and Masten. Rock Canyon cut Chaparral’s lead to nine points with just over three minutes left after Masten scored his seventh point of the quarter. However, there wasn’t any thing they could do about DeGray and Matthews in the fourth quarter but hope they would miss at the free throw line. The combo combined to score 18 of Chaparral 27 points in the quarter. DeGray did a great job handling the ball and snatching more rebounds and Matthews was great finishing once again. Chaparral’s Tanner Giles was 6 of 8 from the free throw line in the final moments of the game to also help secure the win. DeGray finished with 27 points and 11 rebounds. The win also sets up an important game with ThunderRidge on Tuesday which will have league title implications.