BROOMFEILD -- When Evan Kihn reflects on the Broomfield boys basketball team's 2011-12 season, mixed emotions surface.
There were tons of peaks the fiery guard can point too. The Eagles proved their chops early by upsetting eventual Class 4A champion Lewis-Palmer. The team rolled through 21 games undefeated. And it made the Final Four for the first time since 2008.
But even with so many high points that occur to Kihn, there is also one major valley -- his team's finish. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it to the guard. The Eagles' 66-43 falter to Sierra in the semifinals was far from an idyllic finish in an otherwise ideal season.
"I think we kind of ran into one," Kihn said. "We definitely played our worst game of the year and that was unfortunate, because it was also the most important."
The loss lingers with the Eagles, but Kihn promises his team is not shedding tears over it -- no matter its weight. Far from it, Broomfield's players are geeked up as ever to set the hardwood on fire this season. And that season-ending loss, from Kihn's perspective, has only made his team wiser.
"We're much better prepared this year," he said. "(The seniors) got a lot of minutes last year, we're more experience. Now we just need to shed that light to the rest of the team."
Kihn is one of three players providing Terrence Dunn the foundation to build the Eagles upon. The other two seniors the Broomfield coach expects to play key roles are forwards Dan Perse and Spenser Reeb.
"All three are experienced and tremendously competitive," Dunn said.
Kihn provides a strong presence at the perimeter, averaging 8 points per game last season. But Dunn expects the Eagles' attack to shift to the frontcourt to take advantage of the 6-foot, 5-inch frames of Perse and Reeb. The big men had similar results last season, Perse averaging 7.7 points and 4.6 rebounds per game and Reeb 8.8 points and 5.3 rebounds. But each brings much different energy to the court, Dunn said.
"Dan is a tremendous athlete," Dunn said. "He had numerous dunks last year, he's a really tough match up ... and he's also a very fiery competitor. And Spencer, has grown into his body is really ready to have a huge season, a breakout year."
Kihn, Perse and Reeb are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to potentially pivotal seniors. Dunn has eight on the roster and, as some of them point out, the situation the Eagles enter into this season is something they have been gunning for for some time.
"This group has been playing together since fourth and fifth grade," Perse said. "We all know what we bring on the court and have a lot of chemistry this year."
The talent, depth and motivation are all huge assets and leads up to one thing from Reeb's point of view.
"I think we can go all the way," he said.
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