By Jon Miller
Colorado Springs – The last time these two rivals met, the Palmer Terrors came out on top with the two point win on their home court. This time around, the Terrors needed overtime to defeat the Doherty Spartans 52-48 at Wasson.
Kolben Barney led the Terrors with a game high 16 points. Darien Meyers added 13 and Hank Myers chipped in 10 in the win.
Barney and his team knew the key to defeating the Spartans was limiting the amount of touches for Doherty center Lucas Moerman.
“We knew they had a bunch of great players, Lucas is a great big man. We just thought that if we get some stops on him that would be big for us,’ Barney said. “We started off in the 3-2 zone and it was big for us getting some stops and keeping the ball away from him and just set the tone for the game.”
Doherty jumped out to an early 17-12 lead after the first quarter but Moerman had already picked up his second foul.
Brody Gish hit a three pointer to start the second quarter, extending Doherty’s lead to 20-12. The Terrors rallied with an 11-2 run to finish the first half, going up 23-22 at the break in the low scoring affair. Not only did the Terrors have the one point lead, they also got Moerman to pick up his third foul in that stretch, causing him to sit the majority of the second quarter.
“We tried to attack and spread him (Moerman) out. We don’t have anybody to match up with him. I think we have guys that it is hard for him to guard so we had to take advantage of that,” Palmer head coach Jimmy Grantz said.
Moerman was held to two points in the first half.
Doherty recaptured the lead to start the third quarter when Moerman was fouled while hitting his shot. His free throw put his team up 25-23. The Spartans extended its lead to four, 27-23 before Barney hit a three to cut the lead to one, 27-26.
The Spartans extended their lead to four again later in the quarter with a bucket by Moerman putting the Spartans up 32-28. The lead was short lived and Moerman picked up his fourth foul of the game, sending him to the bench.
With Doherty’s big man on the bench, Palmer outscored the Spartans 11-2 to end the third quarter, giving the Terrors the 39-34 lead after three quarters.
Palmer took its largest lead of the game in the fourth quarter when Brayden Grantz drained a three in front of the Spartan student section, giving his team the 44-38 lead with just under six minutes in the game.
Doherty came roaring back, starting with a dunk by Moerman, cutting the lead to two, 44-40. Michael Hall followed up Moerman’s dunk with a fast break dunk of his own, cutting the lead to two, 44-42.
Moerman struck again, this time with a lay in to tie the game at 44 with just 3:32 left in the game. Trevor Oldervik capped off the 8-0 with a runner, putting the Spartans up 46-44 with three minutes remaining.
Hank Meyers tied the game at 46 when he drove to the hoop only to see Moerman slide in his way. Meyer’s side stepped him and completed a left handed reverse layup to tie the game at 46 with 2:30 left in the game.
Both teams remained scoreless for the rest of regulation.
The Terrors had a chance to take the lead with 11.2 seconds in the game and Darien Meyers at the line.
Meyers is Palmers best free throw shooter, knocking down 83% of his shots from the charity stripe. On paper, the win was sealed but in reality, this is not your normal game.
“This kid that was guarding me, Trevor (Oldervik) started reminding me of a kid that was guarding me last year, Isaiah Donis and that was a really rough game. I pushed him and got ejected from that game so I was thinking about that the whole time and that was throwing me off my game,” Meyers said when heading to the line.
“When I went up there, I was trying to think of when I was at the gym with my grandpa, chilling and shooting free throws. These rims felt super short so I thought I would back up a bit, with so much was going through my head and all you hear is the Doherty kids screaming and the Palmer kids screaming,” Meyers continued.
Meyers shot bounced of the back of the rim, then bounce off the front of the rim only to land into the outstretched hands of Moerman. He had missed and Doherty had one last shot.
Doherty had one last shot at the win. Braedon Jackson drove to the basket only to see his layup partially blocked by Barney. Moerman and Meyers fought for the rebound as time expired.
The game was headed to overtime.
“It was tough because if they would have scored, that would have broken me,” Meyers added of his missed free throw. “That would have been terrible with it being the rivalry game because it is really big.”
Doherty won the tip in overtime only to see Isaiah Robinson steal the ball for a layup to give the Terrors the quick 48-46 lead. Palmer extended its lead to 50-46 behind a pair of free throws by Darien Meyers. Braedon Jackson cut the lead to two but this was the only points the Spartans added in the extra period. Meyers hit a pair of free throws with under a minute to play as the Terrors won 52-48.
Palmer coach Jimmy Grantz was confident in his team going into ovetime.
“I just told them to reset. We are right where we want to be, it’s a new game. The huge play was Isaiah (Robinson) stealing the tip and making the layup to put us ahead by two right off the bat. The was big a play because we are not usually going to win the tip.”
Darien Meyers redeemed himself in overtime and he was sure to not let anything get in the way of making his free throws.
“I was just thinking that I wanted to go home, I am tired,” Meyers said. “It was a long game and a good team we played. Every game against Doherty is great but I just wanted to go home. Maybe I should do that every time.”
This is the first time the Terror swept the Spartans since 2011.
“It has been a long couple of years to get to this point. The main four seniors, Isaiah Robinson, Brayden Grantz, Hank Meyers, and myself, it’s a relief” Darien Meyers said of the sweep. “It’s a great young team, they only have one senior and next year they are going to be really scary to play against because they have so many kids getting the experience this year. To beat them twice is just crazy. It’s like a lifelong dream as soon as you go to Palmer, is to beat them as many times as you can.”
Despite being held to two first half points, Moerman finished his night with a team high 15 points. He was the only Spartan to hit the double digit mark.
Palmer Terrors supporting Schafer Reichart.
The Terrors came out in red shirts that read #SCHAFER13 on them, the same one Doherty has been selling to help the Reichart family. The only exception was these did not have the interlocking DS for Doherty Spartans. These had a logo saying Palmer Terrors on them. In true rivalry fashion, the Terrors are supporting the crosstown rival, but not ready to carry the DS logo.
“Schafer went to middle school with one of our sophomores who suits up on varsity, Giles Lewis. Giles let us know early what was going on and we all signed one of the shirts we had for the pinknasium. All the varsity guys signed it and Giles made sure he got it,” Grantz said of Palmers support for Doherty and the Reichart family.
“This has happened a couple times before. We had a girl who had cancer and Doherty was all about that. One of their seniors, who played football, Devon Lobato lives just three houses from Brayden and I. He is a good kid and his dad was in a horrible accident and passed away. The Lobato strong shirts, we were all a part of that. It’s such a strong rivalry because there is such great mutual respect and I love it for that” Grantz added.