Herrera, ’Hawks done in Denver

Fort Lewis College junior Alex Herrera
Current Fort Lewis College junior Alex Herrera, with father Chris to his right, accepts a congratulatory handshake from a well-wisher during the Skyhawks' appearance to support not only the Ignacio Bobcats, but all teams competing at the 2A-Region III Tournament--held inside FLC's Whalen Gymnasium.
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum

With an 18-point, 10-rebound against the top-ranked team in NCAA Division II basketball, former Ignacio Bobcat Alex Herrera hinted that the 2014-15 season, his senior campaign, will be one to remember.

Metro State University of Denver may have held the upper hand when all was said and done inside the Auraria Events Center on March 7th, winning the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Shootout semifinal 77-73, but with three more blocked shots against the 1-seed Roadrunners, Herrera ended his junior season just one away from equaling Fort Lewis College’s career rejections record of 208.

And postseason honors are already rolling in; on Thursday, Mar. 13, he was announced as a member of Daktronics’ 2014 All-South Central Region team, after being the RMAC’s clear-cut Defensive Player-of-the-Year as well as a First Team All-RMAC choice and All-Shootout honoree—after factoring in his 12-point, 12-rebound, 2-block effort in FLC’s 79-68 quarterfinal win inside Whalen Gymnasium over 5-seed CSU-Pueblo.

All told, Herrera started each of the 28 games for coach Bob Hofman this season, finishing with an 18.9 ppg scoring average (fifth in the conference, but second in field-goal percentage at 58.7%) while also pulling in nine rebounds per outing (second in the conference).  His 97 swats led the loop, while establishing a single-season standard for not only Fort Lewis, but the RMAC as a whole, with his norm of 3.5 per also setting a new RMAC mark.

FLC, the Shootout’s 4-seed, finished the 2013-14 slate 18-10 overall and placed fourth in conference at 14-8.  Herrera’s former San Juan Basin League opponent Mike Matthews (Telluride) scored 10 points in his final showing as a Skyhawk senior.

IHS product Ryan Brooks’ first season in a Fort Lewis uniform ended with a 1.5 ppg average in 13 appearances, in which he averaged 3.5 minutes’ worth of action.  He also snared 12 rebounds and blocked four shots.  Combined with Herrera, the two former ’Cats were 9-of-19 from three-point land.

HISTORY CHANNEL: Herrera’s blocked-shot total was four better than the former RMAC record, set in the 2004-05 season by Metro’s Ben Ortner, and his bpg average eclipsed the 1982-83 mean of 3.3 set by Western State College’s Benny Wright.

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