LONGMONT -- Dustin Mandrell hadn't played in Skyline's first two games this season. Even if he had, he wouldn't have played point guard.
With regular point guard Luciano Quesada out with a strained medial collateral ligament, however, Mandrell was thrust into the role on Wednesday night.
Living up to the expectations of a nervous head coach Mike Peterson, Mandrell scored 25 points and led the Falcons to a 63-45 win over Summit. The victory capped the opening round of the Skyline Falcons Challenge, the school's first-ever holiday basketball tournament.
"I was nervous at first because I've never played point before in an actual game," said Mandrell, who said he missed the Falcons' first two games because he was ineligible. "Once I was into the flow of the game I realized it wasn't too bad. Everybody plays the roles that they're supposed to play. Our strength is our post with Colton (Dabney) and Zach (Anthony)."
Dabney, a 6-foot-6 senior, and Anthony, a 6-foot-5 senior, got plenty of looks against the smaller Tigers post players. The pair also freed up Mandrell to hit five 3-pointers.
Dabney was everywhere, totaling 21 points, including a breakaway dunk in the fourth quarter, 11 rebounds, four steals, three blocks and three assists. Although he never found a rhythm offensively, Anthony finished with eight points and 10 rebounds.
"With Luciano out, I felt that I had to give it my all," Dabney said. "I just felt that I had to be there for Dustin and be in the right spots so he had someone to pass to."
Especially considering they haven't played a game at full strength, the Falcons are happy with putting together the team's first 3-0 start in at least seven years. But Dabney said they were focusing on closing out the game instead of losing a 13-point lead like they did against Mountain View on Nov. 30.
"We just wanted to come out strong in both halves," Dabney said. "We did and we're pretty proud of that."
The Falcons jumped out to a 22-11 lead after the first quarter. They pushed that lead to 21 points to start the fourth and cruised for the win.
Quesada will get an MRI later in the week and Peterson hopes get him back as soon as possible so Mandrell can move back to shooting guard. But for Wednesday night, he couldn't have asked for more from the senior guard.
"Luciano is our point guard. He's the facilitator, he attacks the rim and he opens up everything," Peterson said. "Not having him tonight scared me a little bit. But Dustin was fantastic. He showed he can penetrate and do some things, as well. I'm going to be so happy when we get everybody healthy."
The Falcons will face Sterling (1-0), which beat Thornton (1-2) 31-21 in the first round, in the semifinals at 8 p.m. Friday.
Follow Brad on Twitter: @BradCochi
Skyline 63, Summit 45
At Skyline HS
Ortiz 1 0-1 3, Coker 1 0-0 2, Engel 0 0-2 0, DeBonville 3 3-5 9, Tousey 2 2-2 6, McDonald 4 2-3 11, Glasco 2 0-0 4, Jones 0 0-0 0, Lee 3 0-2 6, Crispell 2 0-0 4. Totals 18 7-15 45.
Soriano 1 2-3 4, Torrez 0 1-2 1, Dabney 9 3-9 21, Mandrell 6 6-6 25, Forsyth 0 0-0 0, Helgeland 0 0-0 0, Stuvel 0 0-0 0, Lucero 0 0-0 0, Steakley 0 0-0 0, Anthony 4 0-0 8, Mansanares 1 2-2 4. Totals 21 14-22 63.
Score by quarters:
Summit 11 7 11 16 -- 45
Skyline 22 9 19 13 -- 63
3-point field goals -- Summit (2): Ortiz, McDonald; Skyline (5): Mandrell 5. Total fouls -- Summit 19, Skyline 19. Fouled out -- Glasco. Technical fouls -- None.