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SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

No. 1 South dominates No. 4 Central to remain undefeated

Central’s Syris Williams (right) drives past South High School’s Jace Bellah on a push toward the basket. [Today photo/Brianna Sammons]

By Brandon Samora
The Today

Thursday was quite possibly one of the best nights of basketball that Pueblo has seen in a decade.

This season’s first matchup between the Central Wildcats and the South Colts did not disappoint. Both teams have an endless list of strengths and not many weaknesses.

But in the matchup of No. 1 South and No. 4 Central, the 17-0 Colts showed why they sit alone at the top. The squad is on track to set the stage for what could be one of the most dominant seasons we’ve seen a Pueblo team have in recent memory. The Colts play with the explosion of an atom bomb, while still demonstrating the have the precision of the most delicate artist. Not only one of the most lethal scoring teams in Colorado, they possess an impenetrable defense that is led by hustle and heart.

In the most anticipated matchup of 2022, the electric excitement fueled the cheering crowds at the Southwest Motors Event Center.

From the tip, the game carried the energy of a championship matchup. South jumped out to an early 14-5 lead, aided by the sharp shooting of senior Jace Bellah. If his name sounds familiar, it may be because he was also the star quarterback for the South football team.

Pueblo South High School sophomore point guard Maurice Austin (24, center) leaps into the air amidst a sea of Central Wildcats during Thursday night’s epic matchup against Central High School at the Southwest Motors Event Center. [Today photo/Brianna Sammons]
But Central wasn’t going down without a fight. Kadyn Betts got into some early foul trouble, and the weight of the Wildcat offense fell into the highly capable hands of Syris Williams. The senior point guard’s name can sometimes get lost in the shadow of Betts, but Betts’s 6’8” frame can certainly cause a big shadow. Williams is as good off the dribble as anyone in 4A, and he can take control of a ball game quickly.

Foul trouble was the theme of the 1st half. Both teams had multiple players with 2 and 3 fouls. South had the advantage, and went into the break with a 30-15 lead.

The second half carried the name narrative, and yet the game never felt out of reach for the Wildcats.

The largest lead for the Colts came in the third quarter where they led at one point by 21; the Wildcats struggled to find an offensive foothold. Call it an off night for Kadyn Betts, the junior drove the lane, took 3’s and tried shots across the entire offensive end, and somehow still couldn’t get the ball in the bucket.

Both teams were fighting until the very last whistle. There was never a point in the game, even down 21, where either team let up an inch of effort. This is why these teams are where they are.

Not only do these players represent their schools at the highest caliber, they represent our city for the entire state to see. They change the narrative for Pueblo in prep sports. Pueblo is never seen as the front runner for anything, but that’s not the case for basketball this season. Whether its South or Central, both programs will be in great positions to push for a championship come playoff time.


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