Berthoud Weekly Surveyor | Covering all the angles in the Garden Spot

Spartans notch well-deserved win in season finale

By: Dan Karpiel | The Surveyor | March 12, 2021 | Boys Basketball

Good things come to those who wait. And fight. And labor. And never, ever give up.

The Berthoud High School (BHS) boys basketball team fought hard all season long and their effort and never-say-die attitude was rewarded in their season finale this past Saturday with a resounding 68-57 win over Jefferson Academy.

Berthoud played marvelously in every facet of the game and every one of young men who stepped on the court played a part in earning the win. As a highly pleased Head Coach Todd Sandstedt explained after the game, “I think they finally got to a point where they realized they are pretty good and if they take care of business with the little things that good things can happen and that translated today. They executed well, we did well in the press, they were very active on defense, it was that complete game from everybody that we’ve been looking for.”

As the coach said, Berthoud put together that complete game they had searching all season long. The Spartans won the rebounding battle, shot a season-best 44% from the floor, made good on eight three-pointers and 16 free-throws, swiped eight steals and avoided foul trouble. They also got the performance of the season from senior and team captain Kaleb Brown, who scored 27 points – by far the most by a Spartan this season – thanks for seven three-pointers.

Berthoud started the game hot and stayed hot throughout. The first quarter saw five different Spartans contribute points with six from Brown, courtesy of three-pointers on back-to-back possessions, leading the way. While the Spartans did well on the offensive end, it was their swarming defense and ability to execute the full-court press that kept the Jaguars at arm’s length.

“We’re not that familiar with them so we threw them a lot of different looks in the first and in part of the second quarter and I one point I just said let’s press them because that’s also a good wakeup thing for us,” Coach Sandstedt said. “They were a little turnover prone throughout the year so I felt like we could do a good job with it and, again, it just all meshed together, we did a good job getting to the trap, we rotated up in the centerfield part, we were able to get turnovers that way, they just executed the press perfectly.”

Jefferson did manage to stay in the game as senior point Justin Gordon drained a pair of three-pointers, his second giving the Jaguars a 23-21 lead at the 3:40 mark in the second period. That lead, the Jaguars only of the game, was short-lived as Berthoud’s Gabe Smith and David Sandstedt cashed in three free-throws in final portion of the period to give the Spartans a 27-25 halftime lead.

Brown made another two treys in the third period and David Sandstedt added another as Berthoud began steadily pushing away. Four points apiece from seniors Cooper Hidalgo and Sam Owens in the third quarter saw Berthoud build a nine-point lead, 46-37 entering the final period of play.

Try as they might, the Jaguars just could not close the gap, they narrowed the lead to just but Berthoud kept their guests at bay. Brown stayed hot from downtown, adding two more three-pointers in the fourth quarter, while also adding another four points from the line. But Brown was far from alone, standout senior guard Jonah Doyle, playing at far less than 100% due to a leg injury, added four points, as did Owens.

“We’ve been improving and we’re finally starting to click on all cylinders, coach always tells us that certain parts of the game we excel in but we never had one game where we put it all together to get a win and today was the day and it kind of sucks that we don’t have seven more games,” Brown said and added that he got into a shooting groove early and did not lose his touch. “The whole team knows I shoot like that, that’s how I shoot in practice but I’ve just struggled in games all season long but finally they just started going down today,” he said.

Brown stated that earning the win in the final game of the season meant a great deal to the Berthoud squad saying, “To go out the way we did is just really satisfying, we knew what we could do coming in here and it didn’t go into the win-loss column so finally to actually get one and that’s the way to go out, especially for the seniors, really meant a lot.”

As Coach Sandstedt said, “I will just say this, I think the 2020-21 legacy will be that everybody in this program worked very hard to improve and try to change the story that they were given when they first showed up and so coming out with a win and some positive traction I think that speaks well for a lot of these kids.” Indeed.

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