AURORA | Reeling a bit from the third quarter and with its leading scorer on the bench with foul trouble, things could have gone either way for the Overland boys basketball team Wednesday night in its Class 5A state tournament first round contest.
Visiting Fruita Monument — which had to traverse bad weather to get to town from the Western Slope, which pushed back the game’s start time — hung around closer than expected given how the Trailblazers played in stretches, but senior Victor Harp stepped up in a key spot to help Overland advance.
Harp scored six of his game-high 20 points in the first minute of the fourth quarter to push a seven-point lead to 13 points and coach Danny Fisher’s 25th-seeded Trailblazers finished off a 66-48 victory over the 40th-seeded Wildcats. Junior Marzouq Abdur-Razaaq added 18 points despite missing a key stretch and senior reserve Taveon Long added nine.
Overland — which improved to 11-12 after a 1-9 start to the season — moved into a 5A second round contest on Saturday at eighth-seeded Mountain Vista with tip-off scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
Golden Eagles’ players and coaches were in attendance and saw the Trailblazers get off to a fast start with a 12-point lead after one quarter that got as large as 16 in the second quarter, but ebbed to 10 at halftime.
Abdur-Razaaq’s layup made it a 15-point game midway through the third quarter, but he soon picked up his fourth foul and had to go to the bench. The Wildcats outscored the Trailblazers 10-2 for the remainder of the quarter to cut Overland’s lead to 45-38.
Fisher preached defense in the fourth quarter and the Trailblazers provided it by holding Fruita Monument to 10 points, but Harp’s early burst played a key role.
On the first possession of the final period, Harp — a 6-foot-5 forward who had been active on the glass and in the paint the entire game — got fouled and made a free throw, then converted a pass from senior Remy Wedgeworth into another basket and a few seconds later drained a corner 3-pointer to put Overland back in control.
Harp had seven points in the final quarter to get within five points from matching his season-high in the process, while Abdur-Razaaq returned from the bench with a pair of dunks and eight points and brought him just below his season average of 18.9 points.
Next up for Overland is Mountain Vista (16-6), the fourth-place team from the Continental League.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports
(25) OVERLAND 66, (40) FRUITA MONUMENT 48
Score by quarters:
Fruita Monument 8 12 18 10 — 48
Overland 20 10 15 21 — 66
FRUITA MONUMENT (48)
Peyton Mack 1 3-4 5, Skyler Johnson 3 1-1 8, Carson Hollingshead 5 0-0 11, Connor Laible 3 1-2 7, Joel Lively 0 1-2 1, Daniel Thomason 3 2-5 8, Austin Reed 3 2-2 8, Adan Flores 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 10-16 48.
Victor Harp 8 3-5 20, Jayden Kelsey 1 0-0 2, Remy Wedgeworth 2 2-2 6, Hamza Mursal 0 0-0 0, Marzouq Adbul-Razaaq 7 4-4 18, Taveon Long 4 1-2 9, Jamille Humphrey 2 0-0 6, Christopher Linzy 0 1-2 1, Siraaj Ali 1 0-0 2, Jaleel Dixon 1 0-0 2, Mohamed Altaieb 0 0-0 0, Mohammed Sultan 0 0-0 0. Totals 26 11-15 66.
3-point field goals — Fruita Monument (2): Carson Hollingshead, Skyler Johnson. Overland (3): Jamille Humphrey 2, Victor Harp. Total fouls — Fruita Monument 16, Overland 20. Fouled out — Overland: Jaleel Dixon. Technical fouls — None.