Updated: March 14, 2014 at 9:46 pm
After watching his team give up one 3-pointer after another to a so-so outside shooting team, Colorado Springs Christian School coach Mark Engesser pleaded with his guys not to leave Holy Family's best shooter Luke Golter alone on the perimeter.
When his team responded, however, Holy Family's supporting cast started draining 3s of its own.
"When Holy Family shot the ball, they didn't miss," CSCS big Nic Doherty said. "They just did not miss."
Well, not quite. But it was more than good enough to reach the Class 3A boys' basketball final.
Golter hit three of the team's eight 3s and finished with 15 points, and the second-seeded Tigers shot over 45 percent from the field to beat the No. 3 Lions for the second time in the last three postseasons - this time rising to the 59-51 win at Clune Arena on Friday.
"We did not close out on guys like we should have," said Engesser, who was in his first year as head coach when his team lost to Holy Family (25-2) by 20 in the 2011-12 quarterfinals. "According to their stats, (Holy Family) wasn't a great shooting team this year. But they sure were tonight. We'll need to get tougher and better from this."
The Lions' chance at a third boys' basketball title, meanwhile, will have to wait another year.
However, the Lions (23-4), who had no seniors on varsity in 2013-14, did show glimpses of maturity and fight that should bode well for the program in the near future.
Down by as many as 16 in the second half, Doherty scored 11 of his 17 points in the final 12 minutes, helping CSCS go on a 9-0 run in the third quarter and an 8-0 run in the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to 49-44 with 3:40 remaining.
Unfortunately for the Lions, Justin Engesser (12 points) was held scoreless in the fourth quarter and Dante Fewell (10 points) rimmed out a 3-point chance that would have cut the Tigers' lead to two with 2:58 remaining.
"It really hurts and it is really tough right now," Doherty said. "... We'll come out next year, knowing what it takes now that we've all been through it."
CSCS led 13-12 in the second quarter, before Golter hit back-to-back 3s to give Holy Family the 18-13 lead with less than 5 minutes until the half.
The Lions never led from that point on.