LONGMONT -- Given that the Longmont boys basketball team had a 31-1 record over the last two seasons going into this weekend, while Poudre was 2-29, it wasn't hard to guess the outcome of Friday afternoon's first game of the Longmont Invitational.
After a 67-43 LHS rout of the Impalas, you can make the aforementioned marks 32-1 for the Trojans and 2-30 for Poudre.
Longmont, ranked No. 1 in the state in 4A, improved to 5-0 on the season, while Poudre dropped to 1-7.
"Every game you can get better," noted Boise State signee Justinian Jessup of LHS, who scored a game-high 21 points after draining five 3-pointers. "It just depends on how hard we play and how much we want to get out of it.
"Honestly we don't really worry about the rankings or anything like that. We just try to come out and win every single day. That's what we did today."
The victory puts the Trojans into the title game of the Longmont Invite, which they won in its inaugural year last season. In Saturday's 10 a.m. championship game -- their final contest of 2015 -- they'll face Windsor, which improved to 4-1 after pummeling Brighton 74-31 later Friday.
Longmont defeated Windsor 67-45 in the Sweet 16 of the 4A state tournament last season en route to its runner-up finish.
"That will be our first real test" since the season opener, LHS coach Jeff Kloster said. "Mead was tremendous (in the first game) and Windsor is really good again."
Friday marked the fourth consecutive blowout victory for Longmont, which has outscored its opponents by an average of 30 points per game this season.
Against Poudre, the Trojans bolted out to an 18-3 lead and they didn't allow a 2-point basket through the first 13:27 of the game. The Impalas nailed five treys before their first deuce.
That perimeter defense and lackluster free throw shooting (1 of 7 in the first half) were the only major flaws for LHS.
"It was tough at times because I didn't see the energy that we normally bring," Kloster said. "That's not a negative against our team. Sometimes it's tough to really motivate yourself. That's something we have to develop internally; it doesn't matter who we're playing."
But the lopsided game gave Kloster a chance to play 10 of his guys considerable minutes. Starter Kolton Bachman (15 points) joined Jessup in double figures scoring, and nine players got on the scoreboard for the Trojans.
As a team, LHS shot 50 percent from the floor, while holding Poudre to 32.5 percent. The Impalas turned the ball over 20 times.
"We're still a work in progress," Kloster said, noting the players from the football team made a deep run in the playoffs. "The athleticism of our team is tremendous. We just have to learn how to play with each other again. We haven't played with each other since the summer. Unlike a lot of teams that play fall ball, we don't do that. So we're going to be a work in progress, probably through the middle of January. Hopefully you'll see us starting to peak at the right time."
Longmont 67, Poudre 43
Yokem 4 6-6 17, Conde 0 0-0 0, West 2 4-5 8, McFadden 2 0-0 6, Diaz 1 0-0 2, Raffaeli 1 0-0 2, Silcox 2 1-2 6, Fisher 1 0-0 4. Totals 13 11-13 43..
Sullivan 0 1-2 1, Jessup 8 0-0 21, Speidel 1 0-0 2, Rothe 0 0-0 0, Bachman 7 1-5 15, Earhart 1 1-1 3, Johnson 2 2-2 6, Rulon 3 0-0 8, Mugunga 3 1-1 7, Riss 2 0-0 4. Totals 27 6-11 67..
Score by quarters:Poudre 9 11 7 16 — 43
Longmont 20 19 10 18 — 67
3-point field goals — Poudre (6): Yokem 2, McFadden 2, Silcox, Fisher; Longmont (7): Jessup 5, Rulon 2. Total fouls — Poudre 14, Longmont 14. Fouled out — Silcox.
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