BOULDER — Any team that has as disastrous a start as the Boulder boys basketball team did Thursday night needs a run at some point in time.
The Panthers simply never got that chance against an athletic Eaglecrest squad in yet another tough non-league pre-holiday matchup. Up to the challenge of its schedule for the most part so far, Boulder fell hard to the fourth-ranked Raptors, 58-42, at the Boulder gym to fall to 4-2 overall.
The Panthers had 22 turnovers for the game, but 10 turnovers in the first quarter set a gnarly tone they couldn't turn back around. As a result, a 10-0 lead the Raptors built right out of the gate held up, and Eaglecrest improved to 7-0 with the wire-to-wire win.
"We could never string a stop-and-score, stop-and-score together tonight, and they made us pay," said Boulder head coach Jack Clarke, whose team has to get right back on the horse playing Aurora Central on Friday night. "We could play much better than we did, and we know that. It comes to preparation and that falls on me. We have to have a short memory because (Aurora Central) can do a lot of the same things we saw (Thursday)."
The Raptors were at their best in transition, and that was something the Panthers knew they couldn't allow. But within the first 3 minutes, 30 seconds of the game, Boulder allowed deflections that got the EHS breakout game heated up.
Trying to get back on defense also parlayed into silly fouls, and Eaglecrest went to the line for 33 free throw attempts, making 23 of them to help out-score BHS in each individual quarter.
Eaglecrest's leading scorer, Colbey Ross, paced the Raptors with 21 while making just three field goals. He was strong off the dribble, however, and earned 15 free throws on the evening.
Ikenna Ozor pitched in 12 points and Abanezer Alemneh added eight for the visiting team.
"We got a lot of players in foul trouble, some of our key scorers, and we didn't fill in that gap on offense," said Savoy Carl, who had seven points and eight rebounds. "We were weak with the ball. Too many turnovers, and with how we shot it's just not going to win too many games."
Boulder shot an uncharacteristic 34 percent for the game and made just three of 18 3-point attempts. Landon Talieferro led the way with 14 points as the only double-digit scorer for the Panthers, whose smallest deficit for the game was 13-9 with 5:58 to go in the second quarter.
"Some guys played well in spots but we were out of rhythm in general," Clarke said.
Eaglecrest 58, Boulder 42
At Boulder HS
Aaron Bokol 0 0-0 0, Colbey Ross 3 14-15 21, Xaiv'ion Jackson 0 2-3 2, Elijah Wilson 2 0-0 4, Victor Garnes 2 1-2 5, Abanezer Alemneh 2 3-4 8, Jalaughn Jackson 0 0-0 0, Austin Forsburg 1 0-2 3, Ikenna Ozor 5 2-3 12, Josh Walton 0 0-0 0, Nate Bokol 1 1-4 3. Totals 16 23-33 58.
Peter McNeal 0 0-0 0, Luke Wilson 1 4-4 7, Landon Taliaferro 5 3-4 14, Davis Kang 0 0-0 0, Savoy Carl 2 3-4 7, Sam Kirk 0 0-0 0, Peter Chopra 1 0-0 2, Bill DiScipio 2 1-2 6, Henry Ryan 1 2-4 4, Jake Baker 0 0-0 0, Jack Boyle 0 0-0 0, Ben Posthumus 1 0-0 2. Totals 13 13-18 42.
Score by quarters:Eaglecrest 13 16 13 16 — 58
Boulder 5 14 9 14 — 42
3-point field goals — Eaglecrest (3): Ross, Alemnah, Forsburg; Boulder (3): Taliaferro, DiScipio, Wilson. Total fouls — Eaglecrest 18, Boulder 20.