LOUISVILLE -- By the end, the student section was chanting "J-Mac" and wowing after a deft crossover dribble left a Legacy player flat-footed.
Looks as if Jay MacIntyre is going to settle in fine at Monarch.
The highly publicized transfer, who arrived at Monarch over winter break when his father, Mike, was hired as the Colorado Buffaloes football coach, was playing his first home game with the Coyotes on Friday night. It doubled as his first start, one in which he contributed 11 points in Monarch's 59-42 win against Legacy in a Class 5A Front Range League game.
"It's exciting. It's new," Monarch senior Alex Krason said. "It's definitely something that can re-energize the team."
Monarch (7-2, 2-0) already was playing well before the break, but now has an entire different dynamic with the return to health of Kyle Billingsley and the holiday gift of MacIntyre -- both starters.
MacIntyre made his official Coyotes debut on the road Tuesday -- also his first day of school -- in a win against Boulder, but the home opener was definitely something to see. The crowd chanted "bro-ken an-kles" after he schooled the defender off the dribble en route to a basket. The students brought fourth the "J-Mac" chant in the final minutes.
"That's definitely cool, because I don't really know anybody," MacIntyre said. "It's awesome to be the new kid and to be recognized like that."
Krason connected on three first-half 3-pointers to get the Coyotoes going. Krason and Erik Lawson (10 points each) joined MacIntyre in double figures.
The Coyotes survived a rare pedestrian night from top scorer Ben Beauchamp, who scored six points and recorded his only field goal on a short baseline jumper early in the third quarter.
"I think the key tonight was that all nine of our players contributed in a special way," Krason said.
MacIntyre is still learning names and still learning the Coyotes system. He misses his former teammates and buddies at Valley Christian (Calif.), but the haphazard first week has been pretty awesome.
"It's been tough at times, because two weeks ago I didn't even know I'd be moving," MacIntyre said. "We decided to go and it's been a total whirlwind. But I'm getting used to everything."
Legacy (5-5, 1-2) received 17 points and eight rebounds from Mitch McCall, but never was in sync offensively. The Lightning had a chance to make a rally by limiting Monarch to one point in the first 4 1/2 minutes of the fourth, but Legacy could only trim an 11-point deficit to eight in that span.
"Turnovers were a huge part of why we lost that game," McCall said. "We couldn't hang onto the ball and we weren't getting good shots. Half the time, we weren't even getting shot opportunities."
It was easy to discern that the Coyotes were playing off the energy of having MacIntyre in their gym for the first time.
"You could see it from their guys, that they just had more energy than our players," said McCall, who indicated his team was a bit weary playing its third game in four nights. "It looked like some of our players were dead. You could tell it had been a long week."
MacIntyre can identify.
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Monarch 59, Legacy 42
At Monarch HS
LEGACY (5-5, 1-2)
Ball 1 0-0 2, Hebel 2 0-0 4, Baum 2 0-0 4, McCall 6 3-3 17, Royder 4 0-0 8, Jacobsen 1 0-2 2, Gibson 1 0-0 3, Weber 0 2-2 2, Salazar 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 5-7 42.
MONARCH (7-2, 2-0)
Billingsley 3 1-2 7, Krason 3 1-3 10, Lawson 4 2-2 10, Beauchamp 1 4-6 6, MacIntyre 5 1-2 11, Weaver 3 0-1 6, Fredricksmeyer 2 1-2 5, Stewart 1 0-2 2, Kirkman 0 0-0 0, Webb 1 0-0 2, Mommaerts 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 10-20 59.
Score by quarters:
Legacy 11 9 14 8 -- 42
Monarch 15 12 18 14 -- 59
3-point field goals -- Legacy (3): McCall 2, Gibson; Monarch (3): Krason 3. Total fouls -- Legacy 15, Monarch 11. Fouled out -- None. Technical fouls -- None.