Boyd falls to Breck in play-in game

By Austin Jackson | Published
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It was raining threes in Graham as Boyd and Breckenridge met for the third time of the season for a shot at the final playoff spot in District 7-3A.

After Boyd’s half-court pressure forced the fourth steal of the first quarter, Boyd senior Connor Richardson pulled up from behind the arc.

He drew contact and a whistle before splashing a deep three to give the senior 14 points and the Yellowjackets a 21-19 lead heading into the second quarter.

The threes kept falling Thursday night. Boyd hit 11 in the contest, as the Yellowjackets eyed its first playoff appearance since 2010. But the Buckaroos answered again and again with 12 threes of their own to hold off the Yellowjackets 69-63.

“They got extremely hot,” Boyd coach Jacob Hines said. “Anytime they shoot like that it makes it tough. We felt like we were flying around on defense and playing hard, and then they would drain another three. It’s tough, when they get hot like that.”

Breckenridge will face District 8-3A champion Holliday in the bi-district round.

Breckenridge guard Gerardo Palacios hit eight of the team’s 12 threes, leading the Buckaroos in scoring with 27 points.

Breckenridge and Boyd had split the season series leading into the play in game. After winning four of five and three in a row after starting district play with a 2-5 record. Boyd put themselves in a position to clinch a playoff spot outright, but fell in the regular season finale to Paradise 44-42 on Tuesday.

Hines said coming back from the loss to face the Buckaroos for the third time was a difficult task.

Boyd’s Connor Richardson drives for a basket in the Yellowjackets’ 69-63 loss to Breckenridge Thursday night in Graham.

“We were in a situation where if we win, we’re probably in,’ Hines said. “It was a little demoralizing to come back and play another game. It was tough, we regrouped and played tough.”

“Tonight was probably the best offensive we’ve played offensive this season,”  he added. “I’m proud of the way we played.”

Boyd mounted several comebacks in the game. Starting in the first quarter, when Richardson got hot and pushed the Yellowjackets ahead after trailing early, and in the fourth quarter as Boyd’s Reuben Rodebaugh caught fire from three to make things interesting down the stretch with 11 of Boyd’s 18 fourth quarter points.

With one minute left, Boyd was down 10 before Rodebaugh hit two threes to bring the game as close as 68-63. But Breckenridge was able to hold on, breaking the full court press one final time before Boyd was forced to foul with two ticks left on the clock.

Rodebaugh led Boyd in scoring with 17 points. Richardson scored 16 and Blake Rodgers finished with 13 points.

Hines said he was proud of how his team and the seniors — who have been with the coach since he took the job four years ago — fought through adversity this season.

“I told them to take a step back and look at what they accomplished.” Hines said. “We’ve had a number of injuries, illnesses, a lot starting lineups, and a lot of adversity. The way we started district — we lost some close games early — for them to just keep fighting down the stretch really says a lot about their character and perseverance. That’s what I want them to takeaway the most.”

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