Published: March 5, 2014
If Nick Pasley and his younger brother, Jason, did things the same way, things just wouldn't be as fun around the Sand Creek boys' basketball team.
Nick, a 5-foot-11 senior guard, likes to talk and play chess. Jason, a 6-4 junior forward, keeps to himself and rules the family roost when it comes to video games.
But when it comes to basketball, no two players share the same desires as the Scorpions (20-5), appearing in the 4A quarterfinals for the third time in four seasons, try to break through against D'Evelyn (20-5) at 11:45 a.m. Saturday at the Denver Coliseum.
"All of our games, from when we were kids, helps with our chemistry and helping the team," said Jason, who averages 5.5 points and 5.0 rebounds. "Having a brother on the team is a lot more fun because it helps us become more competitive in practices, and that carries over into games."
Toward the end of the 2010-11 season, coach Joe Rausch found himself scrambling, trying to get his Scorpions into the playoffs but needing a win in their final regular-season game on the road at Mesa Ridge.
He turned to Nick, then a freshman who had played sparingly on varsity, to step in and relieve a team beset by injuries and foul trouble.
Sand Creek prevailed, made the playoffs and journeyed to the quarterfinals for the first time in school history. The Pasley legacy had begun.
Jason joined his brother as a freshman the next season, and the two have continued to rewrite Sand Creek's basketball legacy with their own brand of basketball, and divergent traits.
"One is affable and a solid leader, and the other just wants to do his job and be quiet about it," Rausch said. "You won't find two better kids, on and off the basketball court. Of course, with all the time they've played together, you get that pass between them that no one else can see."
The Scorpions went 12-2 in league play this season to share the Pikes Peak Athletic Conference title with Cheyenne Mountain, then last weekend won both playoffs games at home to once again reach the Denver Coliseum.
In three tries, Sand Creek has been unable to leave that building with a victory and a berth in the semifinals in Boulder.
On Saturday, the Pasleys again take the court in hopes of a first semifinal appearance.
"We've been able to lean on our senior leadership," said Nick, one of four senior starters, along with guards Dylan Clark, Micheal DeCarmo and forward Langston Bell. "We see a stark difference in work ethic this season, that attention to detail that wasn't there before."
Ultimately, Nick will complete his career and Sand Creek - the fifth family member to walk across the stage - and Jason (who has a twin brother, Jordan) will return next year without his big brother there on his team, and that will take some getting used to.
"It's really tough to think about," Nick said. "This journey has been everything I've asked for, just as long as we can continue it into next weekend. It'll be tough to support the team from the sidelines, but I'll definitely always be a part of Sand Creek."