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November 23, 2014

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From the Press Box:

Underdog boys team dethrones Faith Lutheran

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The Miracle on Ice; The Immaculate Reception; The Catch; Jordan's Flu Game.

Those are moments in sports history that will never be forgotten.

Anyone from Boulder City who was at Desert Oasis on the night of Feb. 19 will never forget, The Dethroning.

For four years, Faith Lutheran dominated the 3A, winning four consecutive state titles and losing a total of five league games. The Crusaders had not lost a postseason game in the 3A since moving up from the 2A in 2004.

Faith Lutheran was out to make it five-in-a row and leave the 3A — the Las Vegas private school will debut in the 4A next year — with a unrivaled stretch of postseason perfection.

Faith Lutheran was the big kid on the block and had beaten Boulder City 71-34 less than two weeks earlier. The semifinal game was supposed to be a mere formality for the Crusaders who were destined to again be the kings of the 3A South.

That is why the game is not played on paper.

Like most underdog stories, Boulder City was not willing to play its role of patsy. The Eagles led early but could not seem to pull away.

So, it seemed like with the Crusaders lurking so close it was only a matter of time before the four-time defending champions turned it ­— whatever it is — on and took control of the game.

Midway through the third quarter, the Crusaders had cut the lead down to one at 32-31.

As the ball was being brought up court, Faith Lutheran senior guard David Sperry and Boulder City senior guard Alex Dillon became entangled away from the play. Both players hit the ground, and as they tried to untangle themselves, a whistle was blown and the signal given that Sperry was ejected.

The Eagles were awarded two free throws, because of the ejection. Boulder City senior Jeremy Smith took the shots and went 1-of-2.

As Boulder City began its possession, another whistle sounded and a second technical was called because Sperry was still on the court.

Faith Lutheran coach Bret Walter argued, unsuccessfully, that the referee who ejected Sperry never approached the coach to tell him of the ejection and that a substitute was needed.

Again, the Eagles were awarded two free throws (Smith again went 1-of-2) and eventually built the lead to five points after scoring on the ensuing possession.

Give Faith Lutheran credit, they didn't let the situation get to them and never quit. However, Boulder City was the better team.

Now, the Eagles have a shot to win a state title, 10 years after their last one. But win or lose in the state tournament, the Eagles gave their fans a moment to remember with The Dethroning.

Brent Hinckley is the Boulder City News sports writer and can be reached at 990-7822 or [email protected].

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