LONGMONT — In the four years since Skyline began hosting the early season Falcon Challenge Tournament in 2011, the Falcons had never won their own tournament.

Despite a promising run through the early rounds of the 2015 edition and nearly a game-long lead in the finals, the Falcons will have to wait until next year for another shot to snap that streak. In the finals of the Falcons Challenge on Saturday night, the Falcons fell 49-46 to Denver School of Science and Technology-Stapleton.

"It was a good ball game," Falcons first-year head coach Tyler Cerveny said. "Our kids played hard and we had a chance to win late. I'm proud of our effort."

The Falcons defeated DSST-Stapleton in the semifinals of last season's Falcon Challenge. In last year's finals, the Falcons lost 54-51 in overtime to Pueblo East. This time around, the Falcons defeated Englewood 67-44 in the first round on Thursday and got past Denver North 47-36 in the semifinals on Friday night.

On Saturday night, Skyline senior post player Matt Dietz did a little bit of everything for the Falcons (2-1). He finished with 13 points, six rebounds, two assists and two blocks.

The Knights (4-0) kept pace with the Falcons early on but the home team pulled away for a 24-17 halftime lead. The Falcons kept their seven-point lead to begin the fourth quarter.


In the fourth quarter, however, the Knights outscored the Falcons 18-8. They took the lead on a free-throw following a technical foul called on Cerveny, pulled ahead as many as four points in the final three minutes. Down one with 9.3 seconds left, the Falcons got a rebound on a missed Knights free throw but couldn't push the ball down the court. They lost the ball at midcourt and the Knights scored a layup at the other end as time ran out.

The Falcons finished runners-up at their host tournament by just three points for the second straight year. Though he thought they should have won the final game, Cerveny said he was pleased with the Falcons' play at the tournament overall.

"I thought we played well," Cerveny said. "I thought we got better in this tournament."

Falcons junior Nate Higgins scored 10 points. Sophomore guard Braden Blick and senior Josh Angstead each had eight.

The Falcons' season will continue on Tuesday when they take on Ponderosa (2-1) in Parker.

Brad Cochi: cochib@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BradCochi

DSST-Stapleton 49, Skyline 46

At Skyline H.S.


Vince Jones 2 0-0 5, Blake Pullen 4 2-4 10, Andrew Wiggans 2 0-0 4, Jordan Heien 1 0-0 2, Jose Sandoval 1 3-5 5, Maximo medina 4 2-2 11, Fuad Abdi 3 0-0 6, Tobi Obiwole 1 0-0 2, Fethi Elbashir 1 2-5 4, Nathaniel Bowen 0 0-0 0, Rok Yiul 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 9-16 49.


Logan Ekern 0 0-0 0, Kyle Nilsen 0 0-0 0, Ben Alexander 0 0-0 0, Daniel Terao 0 0-0 0, Nate Higgins 4 1-2 10, Braden Blick 3 0-0 8, Ben Hall 1 1-2 4, Josh Angstead 4 0-1 8, Demitro Martinez 0 0-0 0, Hunter Gutierrez 1 1-2 3, Matt Dietz 4 5-6 13. Totals 17 8-13 46.

Score by quarters:

DSST Stapleton (4-0) 8 9 14 18 — 49

Skyline (2-1) 11 13 14 8 — 46

3-point field goals — DSST-Stapleton (2): Medina, Jones; Skyline (4): Blick 2, Higgins, Hall. Total fouls — DSST-Stapleton 10, Skyline 18. Technical fouls — Skyline coach.