On Jan. 13, the Primero High School Bulldogs boys basketball team had everything basketball to be concerned with as they hosted the second ranked team in the state the Creede Miners.
The preview to the league championship in February, the home game for the Bulldogs started at a furious pace as the Bulldogs closeted the first deuce of the day and went onward to present a passionate, performance, though eventually falling short 53-58.
Again Bulldog freshman student-athlete No..44 Antonio Cordova showed why he is a premier defensive center in the region, boxing out and rebounding with authority over board pounding Miner team. Cordova posted a sticky defense oriented performance with six points for the Miners. The sixth breaking a late game tie.
Bulldog senior student-athlete No. 21 Vince Damelio played a far more mature, disciplined and focused game, depositing 16 points in the first half thru patience offensively and fury defensively. Damelio proved competent as a floor commander, directing with fluidity operations around the wheelhouse as the Miner offense moved good looks at the hoop from one side of the court to the other.
The second ranked Creede Miners had more than their hands full throughout the game as the Bulldogs swarmed with disciplined chaos all over the shell shocked Miners, leaving a confused and spent Creede team to the locker room looking at half looking for answers.
And the Miners found a couple. The Miners defense refocused and put the shut down on Damelio in the second half, leaving the best athlete on the court with only six points for 16 minutes played. Damelio was more than fazed on offense, losing composure and back talking the nearest stripes in ear shot, grabbing a “T” and shifting the game momentum back to Creede. The Miners also moved very good shot looks to the perimeter, conceding dominance downtown to Cordova and at times opening up a double digit lead.
The Bulldogs took no respite when down to the Miners and continued to play inspired, detail driven hoops, teeter-tottering with the Miners while lubed with sweat and desire until something had to give.
And for the Bulldogs, something did. In a game where neither team could afford a single lapse of concentration and with just 58 seconds left in the game, the Bulldogs lost focus and detail, committed two unforced errors and went on to lose the game. The Miners were just 58 seconds away from the biggest upset loss of the basketball season with the Bulldogs destined for a state ranking. The final score: Bulldogs 53 — Miners 58
The Primero Bulldogs will get another chance at the Creed Miners crown during league play in February. Up next for the Bulldogs a trip to Centennial to face the Rams on Thursday, Jan. 18 at 5 p.m.