GRAND JUNCTION - Kahler Grandbouche didn't even play high school basketball in his freshman or sophomore years and he played only JV ball in his junior year. But on Thursday night the senior poured in 26 points to lead the Central Warriors to a 64-40 win over Northglenn in the first round of the 5A State Tournament.
"Kahler has done a great job," head coach Phil Cain Said. "He has just improved throughout the season. He's very coachable and he's got a great attitude."
Grandbouche scored 10 of his 26 points in the third quarter and led the Warriors from the free-throw line as well making 8-of-10. But when the game was over, Grandbouche was mostly happy for his fellow senior teammates.
"This is only my second year playing and I know so many other seniors on the team that have been playing for four years have had some rough years like freshman and sophomore years," Grandbouche said. "It's just good to get a W in the playoffs finally."
Northglenn made a bit of a run late in the game that was capped when forward John Gaschler drove the ball the length of the courth and dunked it over the outstretched hand of Grandbouche.
Grandbouche had the last laugh by scoring four consecutive points in the final moments to cap off his 26 point night. Michael Wiedrich made three three-pointers to finish with 13 points and Blaine Jackson chipped in with 10 points in the win.
Northglenn was led by Devon Acker with 14 points and Gaschler who scored 12.
Central (20-4) now advances to the round of 32 to play against fourth seeded Arapahoe (15-8) on Saturday afternoon.
"Our guys have put in a lot of time. It's been a slow process and I appreciate the patience here at Central," Cain said after the Warriors won their first playoff game in nine years.
"We've got a senior dominated team and I hope they enjoy the ride. It's been a great journey so far this season and we're excited for what comes up on Saturday, another opportunity for us."
Central's game against Arapahoe is scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m.