2013 CHSAA Basketball First Round Smoky Hill at Ralston Valley

I shot the Ralston Valley Mustang’s last home boys basketball game Wednesday night.  It was the first round of the CHSAA 5A basketball playoffs against the Smoky Hill Buffaloes.  While RV had not dominated the Jeffco 5A League this season, they have had some moments of brilliance and tonight was one of those nights.

February 27th 2013: Arvada, Colorado - Smoky Hill's Adonis Muminovic (25) shoots over Ralston Valley freshman Dallas Walton (54) in their first round game of the CHSAA 5A Basketball State Tournament at Ralston Valley High School

February 27th 2013: Arvada, Colorado – Smoky Hill’s Adonis Muminovic (25) shoots over Ralston Valley freshman Dallas Walton (54) in their first round game of the CHSAA 5A Basketball State Tournament at Ralston Valley High School

Ralston Valley was without senior Hunter Price who was out with an injury.  And with senior Spencer Svejcar nursing a nagging injury, the rest of the Mustangs were going to have to step up.  And one Mustang in particular stood out for me this night.

February 27th 2013: Arvada, Colorado - Ralston Valley Mustang junior Jonathon Gillespie elevates to block the shot by Smoky Hill's Connor Mooney in the playoff game at Ralston Valley High School

February 27th 2013: Arvada, Colorado – Ralston Valley Mustang junior Jonathon Gillespie elevates to block the shot by Smoky Hill’s Connor Mooney in the playoff game at Ralston Valley High School

While the whole Mustang team stepped up on defense and on offense, 6 foot 6 inch freshman Dallas Walton made a big impact on the game.  While he was not making every shot he took, every time he stepped onto the floor he made an difference.

February 27th 2013: Arvada, Colorado - Smoky Hill Buffaloes Jaylen Petty (21) sneaks a shot up past the defense from Ralston Valley Mustangs freshman Dallas Walton (54) and senior Spencer Svejcar (20) in the first round state playoff game at Ralston Valley High School

February 27th 2013: Arvada, Colorado – Smoky Hill Buffaloes Jaylen Petty (21) sneaks a shot up past the defense from Ralston Valley Mustangs freshman Dallas Walton (54) and senior Spencer Svejcar (20) in the first round state playoff game at Ralston Valley High School

Walton caused the Smoky Hill players to change shots, he got his hand on the ball just about every time down the floor on defense whether it was a shot block, rebound, or pass, his wingspan on his 6′-6″ frame was huge for him.

February 27th 2013: Arvada, Colorado - Ralston Valley Mustang junior Zac Stevens (5) makes a baseline shot attempt past Smoky Hill's Connor Mooney in the game at Ralston Valley High School.

February 27th 2013: Arvada, Colorado – Ralston Valley Mustang junior Zac Stevens (5) makes a baseline shot attempt past Smoky Hill’s Connor Mooney in the game at Ralston Valley High School.

His presence on the court was not only felt by the Buffaloes, but also by his teammates.  The other Mustangs found themselves open more and getting to the hoop a lot easier.

February 27th 2013: Arvada, Colorado - Ralston Valley Mustang senior Spencer Svejcar attempts a shot in the Mustangs playoff game against Smoky Hill on Wednesday night at Ralston Valley High School

February 27th 2013: Arvada, Colorado – Ralston Valley Mustang senior Spencer Svejcar attempts a shot in the Mustangs playoff game against Smoky Hill on Wednesday night at Ralston Valley High School

Svejcar, the Mustangs top player, did draw double teams, but found his path to the hoop wide open at times.  Svejcar did bring the fans to their feet with a two handed dunk off of a steal in the first half, but it was not the most exciting part of the game.

February 27th 2013: Arvada, Colorado - 6'-6" freshman Dallas Walton of the Ralston Valley Mustangs  brings people to their feet after he spins around the Smoky Hill defense and elevates for a thunderous dunk attempt.

February 27th 2013: Arvada, Colorado – 6′-6″ freshman Dallas Walton of the Ralston Valley Mustangs brings people to their feet after he spins around the Smoky Hill defense and elevates for a thunderous dunk attempt.

The shot above, in my opinion, was a defining moment for the freshman.  Walton received a pass at the top of the key, spun around the Smoky Hill defender and elevated for a one handed dunk.  He missed the dunk off the back of the rim, but he had his teammates on the bench jumping up, the fans in the stands were jumping up, and even the Smoky Hill fans seemed impressed.

February 27th 2013: Arvada, Colorado - Ralston Valley Mustang junior Zac Stevens (5) attempts a lay up past Smoky Hill's Trent Clay in the game at Ralston Valley High School.

February 27th 2013: Arvada, Colorado – Ralston Valley Mustang junior Zac Stevens (5) attempts a lay up past Smoky Hill’s Trent Clay in the game at Ralston Valley High School.

As Walton grows (6′-6″ and a freshman?!?) into his body more, gets more confidence on the court, and bulks up a bit (hit the weight room young man) he will be one of the top high school players in Colorado and he could very well be a Division 1 prospect.

February 27th 2013: Arvada, Colorado - Ralston Valley Mustang freshman Dallas Walton (54) floats up a shot attempt in the game between the visiting Smoky Hill Buffaloes and the Ralston Valley Mustangs at Ralston Valley High School.

February 27th 2013: Arvada, Colorado – Ralston Valley Mustang freshman Dallas Walton (54) floats up a shot attempt in the game between the visiting Smoky Hill Buffaloes and the Ralston Valley Mustangs at Ralston Valley High School.

Ralston Valley would go on to win this first round playoff game 77 to 54.  They would face Monarch on Saturday night in the second round.  Smoky Hill’s season was over.  And as I write this post on Saturday night, I learned that the Mustang boys season is over.  Monarch defeated the surging Mustangs by a score of 69 to 61.  Ralston Valley will be graduating 5 seniors and the team next season should be lead by two players, Jonathon Gillespie and Walton.  Gillespie has been a huge defensive presence for the Mustangs this season and Walton is only going to get better.

To view and purchase photos from this game please visit Maxpreps.

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