Mar 8, 2014 9:09 PM by Greg Smith
DENVER - Cheyenne Mountain needed a four-point play from senior Ghassan Nehme to finally end the double-overtime Class 4A boys basketball state quarterfinal Saturday against No. 1 seed Thompson Valley.
Nehme was fouled on a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left in the second overtime period. The senior made the free throw to give the No. 2-seeded Indians (21-5) an 82-81 lead.
"At that time, playing in a second overtime, anything can happen," said Nehme about his miraculous four-point play.
"We were blessed and able to pull this one out."
Nehme scored a game-high 41 points, which included 17 points in the third quarter. His younger brother Christian Nehme (20 points) sealed the victory sinking a pair of free throws with eight seconds left to give Cheyenne Mountain an 84-81 victory and the program's first trip to the Final Four in school history.
Thompson Valley (24-2) was the final No. 1 seed remaining after Valor Christian and D'Evelyn were knocked out of the state tournament earlier in the day.
Cheyenne Mountain coach J'on St. Clair said there was no talk before the game with the Indians having a shot to eliminate the last No. 1 seed standing.
"We don't talk about anybody else," St. Clair said. "We focus in on ourselves because if you start looking at someone else you seem to get knocked off."
Thompson Valley had an eight-point lead early in the third quarter, but the Indians went on a 14-0 run to take the lead.
Foul trouble also plagued the Eagles. Senior Collin Smith (17 points) fouled out with 1:30 left in the fourth quarter. Also, senior starter Estevan Garcia fouled out for Thompson Valley.
Thompson Valley senior Grant Rohrbouck stepped up with a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter to help send the game to overtime. Rohrbouck, who finished with 26 points, put in a layup with four seconds left in the first overtime to tie it at 72-72 and send it to a second overtime.
Junior Nathan Resty hit a big 3-pointer for Cheyenne Mountain in the second overtime and Christian Nehme (20 points) was 6-for-7 from the free-throw line in overtime to help the Indians' cause.
"Christian is Mr. Clutch," Ghassan said of his younger brother who helped guide Cheyenne Mountain's boys soccer team to a 4A state title last fall. "He did it in soccer and now he is doing it in basketball. He is a fireball out there."
Cheyenne Mountain will now head to the Coors Events Center in Boulder for the 4A semifinals Friday, March 14. The winner of the all-Denver Prep League semifinal between Thomas Jefferson and Denver South that was the final boys' game on the docket Saturday night at the Denver Coliseum.