LAFAYETTE -- Peak to Peak boys basketball players understood what they were getting into with this portion of the schedule. But that hasn't made it any easier.

The Pumas faced their fourth consecutive ranked foe Wednesday night, and this time the degree of difficulty actually increased as the Pumas welcomed Class 3A top-ranked Kent Denver to their home floor.

The Sun Devils lived up to their billing, shrugging off Peak to Peak's late third-quarter surge to swarm the Pumas 69-47 in a Metro League game.

"We've run into a buzz saw for about three weeks," Pumas senior Max Clark said. "It's been opponent after opponent ranked in the top five or the top 10. But we understand that, and we understand we have some winnable games coming up."

The Pumas entered the game coming off losses to Colorado Academy (now No. 5), Holy Family (No. 3) and Lutheran (No. 3 in 2A). The combined record of those foes was 46-8 entering the day.

The Pumas (9-6, 1-4) appeared primed to make it a down-to-the-wire finish when they cut it to 40-35 late in the third quarter. But the Sun Devils responded with a 12-0 run and finished with a flourish.

"They're a very disciplined team, and I think they just stayed in their disciplinary routine that they thought they could deal with," Peak to Peak coach Tony Peters said. "It worked well for them. We forced a couple shots and they'd pull away a little bit."


Advertisement

It appeared Kent Denver (13-1, 6-0) was going to pull away early after building a 23-9 lead in the second quarter. But Sam Fangman scored 11 of his 13 points in the quarter -- including three 3-pointers -- to keep the Pumas within a manageable nine points at the break.

Josh Repine led Kent Denver with 18 points, getting help from teammates that form unquestionably the deepest rotation in the classification. Reserve bigs Brian Boatman and Brannon Jones were terrors inside and the Sun Devils had 10 players who scored.

"They definitely come at you in waves," Clark said. "Going into it, we knew what to expect. They sub a lot, they pressure and they dig into you. It's relentless, really."

Clark, who nearly registered triple-doubles in the losses to Holy Family and Lutheran, was relatively held in check with 14 points, five rebounds and three assists. Drew Otey added 10 points for the Pumas.

Kent Denver's lone loss was to 1A No. 1 Shining Mountain, a 76-72 overtime decision on Jan. 29.

"They shot really well against us; it was incredible," Repine said. "It was fun to see, a great high school game. But it kind of made us refocus. It made us realize that we were beatable."

Repine rounded out his performance with seven rebounds, helping the Sun Devils to a plus-14 advantage on the glass. The 6-foot-4 senior believes the Pumas probably would have a record somewhere in the 13-2 range if they didn't face the nightly rigors of the Metro League.

"A Peak to Peak team that's middle of the pack in this league would be at the top of any other conference," he said.

Follow Paul on Twitter: @PaulWillis21

 

Kent Denver 69, Peak to Peak 47

At Peak to Peak HS

KENT DENVER (13-1, 6-0)

Pettyjohn 1 0-0 3, Padgett 2 0-0 4, Repine 6 4-6 18, Hanley 2 4-4 9, Lane 2 0-2 4, Boatman 6 3-4 15, Finer 0 0-2 0, Jones 3 3-3 9, White 1 0-0 2, Payne 1 0-0 3, Franklin 0 0-0 0, Tanner 0 0-0 0, Bennett 0 0-0 0, Barker 0 0-0 0, Bartholomew 0 2-2 2, Hargrow 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 16-23 69.

PEAK TO PEAK (9-6, 1-4)

Goedde 1 0-0 3, Braswell 1 0-0 2, Otey 4 0-0 10, Clark 5 3-6 14, Fangman 5 0-0 13, Griffith 0 0-0 0, Peterson 0 0-0 0, Howard 0 0-0 0, Powers 1 0-0 2, Ward 1 1-2 3. Totals 18 4-8 47.

Score by quarters:

Kent Denver 15 13 18 23 -- 69

Peak to Peak 6 13 16 12 -- 47

3-point field goals -- Kent Denver (5): Repine 2, Pettyjohn, Hanley, Payne; Peak to Peak (7): Fangman 3, Otey 2, Clark, Goedde. Total fouls -- Kent Denver 15, Peak to Peak 17. Fouled out -- None. Technical fouls -- Pettyjohn.