LAFAYETTE -- Centaurus players immediately knew they were going to have hands full Friday night. That much was apparent when 6-foor-8 Loveland center Conor Lang stepped on the floor.

Then they saw that the big man had a perimeter game, too.

It looked like a recipe for disaster for any opponent, and it was. Lang scored a game-best 26 points as the Indians easily handled the host Warriors 66-42 in the semifinals of the Boulder Valley Invite.

"He's really versatile," Centaurus guard Tony Aguirre said. "He can shoot, he can dribble, and he's really good on his feet for a big guy."

After having no answer for Lang, Centaurus will play Rampart today in the third-place game (4 p.m.) while Loveland advanced to face Thomas Jefferson in the championship game.

The Warriors (2-3) were greeted by an aggressive press by Loveland (2-1), which was a inopportune formula with one of their best ball-handlers, Trey Puckett, sidelined because of an illness.

"We've had the flu circling through our group this week, between coaches and players," Centaurus first-year coach Brandon Gullicksrud said. "Trey tried to make a go of it at school today and it just didn't happen for him."

Aguirre led the Warriors with 14 points, 12 of them by virtue of four 3-pointers he nailed in the second half. After Loveland darted to a 20-point halftime lead, the 5-8 senior was trying to breathe some energy into the gym.

"I was trying to get us back in the game," he said.

Lang made sure it didn't happen. He scored on a bevy of put-backs, drives to the hoop, mid-range jumpers and even a first-half 3-pointer. It begged the question, who can guard this guy one-on-one?

"I worked a lot in the offseason," Lang said. "So hopefully nobody."

Guard Joe Etling added 15 points for Loveland and was instrumental in frustrating the Warriors with the full-court defense.

"We wanted to get our press going and get some easy baskets, because we haven't been shooting very well," Lang said.

Centaurus knew what was coming and was able to gash the press for a few breakaway buckets in the early going.

"We talked before the game even started that we'd seen Loveland play and we knew they were going to be picking us up full," Gullicksrud said. "There were spurts where we didn't handle the pressure as well as others."

Lance Matosky chipped in nine points for the Warriors, and Steven Jordan added a game-high eight rebounds.

 

Follow Paul on Twitter: @PaulWillis21

 

 

Loveland 66, Centaurus 42

At Centaurus HS

LOVELAND (2-1)

Etling 6 1-2 15, Lang 11 3-4 26, Anderson 1 0-0 2, Bernhardtg 1 0-0 2, Weinmaster 1 0-0 2, Andrews 2 0-0 4, Schlect 1 0-0 2, Strasbaugh 3 2-2 10, Hale 1 0-0 3, Nye 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 6-8 66.

CENTAURUS (2-3)

Aguirre 5 0-0 14, Matosky 4 0-0 9, Taudien 1 1-2 3, Jordan 2 0-0 5, Milano 1 0-0 2, Wilkinson 0 1-2 1, Esler 1 0-0 2, Rowsam 0 0-0 0, Bradford 0 0-0 0, Koch 3 0-1 6. Totals 17 2-5 42.

Score by quarters:

Loveland 21 15 17 13 -- 42

Centaurus 11 5 13 13 -- 66

 

3-point field goals -- Loveland (6): Etling 2, Strasbaug 2, Lang, Hale; Home (6): Aguirre 4, Matosky, Jordan. Total fouls -- Loveland 8, Centaurus 9. Fouled out -- None. Technical fouls -- None.

 

Mead 69, Arvada 42

 

Behind 30 points from Ryan Lozinksi, the Mavericks roared back in the consolation bracket to rout the winless Bulldogs.

Mead drilled eight 3-pointers, including three by guard Aaron Cheung. Arvada's Gabe Enriquez scored 25 points, but the Mavericks held the remainder of the Bulldogs to six field goals.

Griffin Nelson added 11 points for Mead.

 

At Centaurus HS

MEAD (2-1)

Cheung 3 0-0 9, Desch 2 0-6 4, Lozinski 14 2-6 30, Perez 1 1-2 4, Lamb 0 2-2 2, Beaver 2 0-0 6, Nelson 4 1-2 11, Goodwin 0 3-5 3. Totals 29 9-23 69.

ARVADA (0-4)

Mangrum 1 0-2 3, Harris 2 2-2 6, Sawaged 1 0-1 2, Enriquez 8 5-5 25, Jaramillo 1 1-1 3, Gales 0 0-0 0, Ruley 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 9-13 42.

Score by quarters:

Mead 19 14 19 17 -- 69

Arvada 7 13 9 13 -- 42

 

3-point field goals -- Mead (8): Cheung 3, Beaver 2, Nelson 2, Perez; Arvada (5): Enriquez 4, Mangrum. Total fouls -- Mead 15, Arvada 16. Fouled out -- Lamb, Gales. Technical fouls -- None.

 

Poudre 74, Erie 38

The Tigers had no answer for Poudre 6-foot-4 senior Lake Reed, who appeared unstoppable en route to 34 points.

Eight players scored for Erie, but none reached double digits. Dylan Brink, who accounted for both of the Tigers' 3-pointers, matched Brett Egan with a team-high eight points.

Erie trailed by 12 at the half, but any thoughts of a comeback were dashed when the Tigers were outscored 22-6 in the third quarter.

 

At Centaurus HS

ERIE (0-3)

Leahy 3 0-0 6, C. Brink 1 2-4 4, Lucas 0 0-0 0, D. Brink 3 0-0 8, Gilmont 0 1-2 1, Charlesworth 0 1-2 1, Egan 4 0-0 8, Baker 3 0-3 6, Melton 2 0-1 4. Totals 16 4-12 38.

POUDRE (1-2)

Casey 4 0-0 8, McFall 3 1-1 9, Linquist 3 0-3 6, Chandler 1 0-0 3, Finley 6 0-0 14, Reed 14 4-5 34, Salumu, Tucker. Totals 30 5-9 74.

Score by quarters:

Erie 9 11 6 12 -- 38

Poudre 23 9 22 20 -- 74

 

3-point field goals -- Erie (2): D. Brink 2; Poudre (7): McFall 2, Finley 2, Reed 2, Chandler. Total fouls -- Erie 11, Poudre 11. Fouled out -- None. Technical fouls -- None.