Smoky Hill boys basketball coach Keenon Clement loves to call his father, Royce, on his way home from a game to talk about how his team did that night.
Clement knew his dad would be particularly glad to hear about what happened Saturday, as his seventh-seeded Buffs upset second-seeded Regis Jesuit 47-46 in a Class 5A second round state playoff game on senior Unwana Ekiko’s buzzer-beating layup.
Of particular note for the family is the fact Keenon got the better of a Raiders team coached by Ken Shaw, who played for Merino against a Bayfield team Royce Clement played on in the 1970 Class A state championship game. Shaw and Merino won the state title 68-52 that year.
“Ken Shaw is a legend and a great guy; what’s pretty awesome is my dad played him in 1970 for the state championship when he was with Merino,” Keenon Clement said. “I’m going to call my pops. He said he’s going to come over for the last game. He didn’t come for this one, he had confidence our kids would win, so we’ll have to catch up with him later.”
Royce Clement — who lives in Palisade, where he served as an assistant on Keenon’s staff when he coached there — is expected to attend the Great 8 round on March 7 at the Denver Coliseum if Smoky Hill can get past Arapahoe in its Sweet 16 game Wednesday.
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel