NIWOT — Go ahead and call Walker Bounds clutch.
The Niwot senior lived up to the billing on Monday night in a rivalry boys basketball game against Skyline, a 63-49 Cougars win that helped the team rebound from a tough week at the Fairview Festival.
Bounds could be seen early clutching his left shoulder after getting dinged up against the Falcons, but that didn't stop him from a 14-point, five-rebound effort that included eight points in the fourth quarter.
That's the real reason for the possible nickname.
"I'm really proud of our team because last week we had a tough week and we were just able to bounce back. We took it to a good Skyline team," Bounds said of the team's late antics as a whole, which included making 14 of 16 free throws in the fourth frame. "We showed some mental toughness to pull this game out."
Niwot went 0-3 in the Fairview Festival, falling to the host Knights, Greeley West and Sierra scoring about 40 points a contest. But the Cougars shot 9-for-16 from the floor in the second half to keep the Falcons behind on the scoreboard even when the visitors heated up.
Skyline had cut a 39-29 lead down to 41-36 early in the fourth quarter and kept to within 46-40 with 3 minutes, 44 seconds to go.
That when Bounds hit perhaps his biggest shot, a 19-foot jumper from the top of the key at the 3:10 mark that was accompanied by a Skyline foul underneath and a technical foul. Ryan Kannegieter, who finished with 15 to lead the squad, sunk four free throws, and the 6-point swing made it 52-40 and squashed the rally.
"We were moving the ball well there, and I got open and took a shot," Bounds said. "We moved well this game, our shots fell and we played some pretty good defense."
Skyline's comeback was aided by Hunter Gutierrez, who finished with 14 points and seven rebounds including 10 second-half points. Braden Blick also had nine points, all after halftime.
Niwot had five 3-pointers, and Adam Barber's three treys off the bench helped stake the Cougars to a 27-17 edge after two quarters.
The Cougars play Vista PEAK Prep on Wednesday at home, while Skyline gets a chance to rebound Friday at Silver Creek.
Niwot 63, Skyline 49
At Niwot HS
Ben Alexander 0 0-0 0, Nate Higgins 5 1-2 13, Braden Blick 3 1-2 9, Ben Hall 1 1-2 3, Matt Dietz 3 0-0 6, Demitro Martinez 0 0-0 0, Hunter Gutierrez 5 4-5 14, Josh Angstead 1 2-3 4. Totals 18 9-14 49.
Jackson Kolakowski 0 2-2 2, Mason Lopez 0 1-2 1, Jacob Sims 0 0-0 0, Joseph Ho 1 1-2 3, Walker Bounds 5 4-4 14, Alec Helgeland 2 0-1 4, Noah Radatz 0 0-0 0, Ryan Kannegieter 4 7-8 15, Adam Barber 4 0-0 11, Michael Agado 2 2-2 5, Roberto Ramirez 0 0-0 0, Ty Vigil 2 1-1 6, Michael Oliver 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 18-22 63.
Score by quarters:Skyline 8 9 14 18 — 49
3-point field goals — Skyline (4): Higgins 2, Blick 2; Niwot (5): Barber 3, Agado, Vigil. Fouled out — Dietz. Technical fouls — Higgins.