SIERRA VISTA — Buena High School’s boys basketball team’s shot at a state title came to an end Thursday night in Sierra Vista. The No. 5 Colts were upset by No. 12 Sunrise Mountain 60-56.
The Mustangs outscored the Colts 18 to 12 in the fourth quarter to seal the win from the home team. Buena had two starters foul out in the fourth quarter while the team was trying to regain the lead.
Sunrise Mountain opened the scoring, but its 2-point bucket was quickly countered with a 3-pointer by Buena’s Hector Ballesteros. The teams exchanged the lead in a seesaw battle until the Colts broke ahead and took a 15-11 lead on a steal and score by Noah Roy. Buena led 19-15 at the end of the first quarter.
Sunrise Mountain knocked down a 3-pointer less than two minutes into the second quarter to make the score 19-18. The Mustangs scored on a drive to go up 20-19, but the Colts responded with another 3-pointer by Ballesteros to make the score 22-20. Buena outrebounded Sunrise Mountain, which allowed them to maintain the lead. The Colt were up 32-26 at halftime.
Sunrise Mountain scored the first seven points of the third quarter to take a 33-32 lead and force Buena head coach Tyler Molesworth to call a timeout. Buena scored the next six points out of the break to take the lead once again. Sunrise Mountain made two free throws late to make the score 44-42, which is how the teams went into the fourth quarter.
Sunrise Mountain scored four points and another back-and-forth exchange of points ensued. A 3-pointer by Sunrise Mountain with 3:50 left in the game gave it a 53-50 lead. The Mustangs increased their lead to 57-50 with 1:32 left in the game. Buena battled back with buckets from Roy and Cooper Jones to pull within two, 57-55, with 38 seconds left. Free throws by Sunrise Mountain sealed the win for the visiting team.
Senior Christian Gouchie led Buena with 14 points. Ballesteros was second with 12 points, all from beyond the arc. Jake Smith added 11 points for the Colts.