LAFAYETTE — The Peak to Peak boys basketball team hasn't made things easy on itself with the upper-classification competition it has faced so far this season.
But the Pumas' traveling student section has helped to lighten the load. The Peak to Peak fans didn't have far to go when the Pumas took on cross-town rival Centaurus on Saturday and the nearly full student section was a welcome sight for the Pumas in their opponents' gym.
The 50 or so familiar faces played a major role in the Pumas' 50-44 win.
"The student section came out and supported us," Pumas sophomore Jack Baker said. "That really helped a lot. Our student section is great. Even though we had a losing season last year, they still come out and support us every single game. They got us even more pumped up and we had good ball movement tonight. I think we had 10-plus assists in the game so that's good for us."
With Saturday's victory, the Pumas (5-4) climbed over the .500 mark on the season while the Warriors (4-5, 0-2 4A Northern) dropped just below it. In a game the Pumas led just 6-5 after one quarter and trailed at halftime, it took 28 points from senior Jonathan Dee and a final four minutes in which the Pumas outscored the Warriors 15-9 before they secured the victory.
For first-year head coach Matthew Smith, the highlight of the game was watching his team hold the Warriors to just 44 points in their own gym.
"The boys played incredibly hard," Smith said. "We've talked all season about coming together and being a defensive team. We really showed that heart tonight, getting out on the floor and executing. We've kind of turned it around after the holiday and tonight against Centaurus, this being kind of a rivalry game here in Lafayette. We had a lot of emotion, a lot of fans. It got a little crazy in here but we were able to rise up against the pressure.
"This is the third 4A team we have played and the biggest thing is just being in the game. We've had some big tests and we knew this was going to be a dogfight. I challenged the boys to either put up 20 in the first or hold them to next to nothing and 6-5 in the first made it a defensive struggle."
The Pumas entered the holiday break with a 3-4 record. On Jan. 5, they won 78-73 in overtime against Highland (6-2).
Junior guard Eric Gambon led Centaurus with 11 points.
Peak to Peak will play at Valley (3-4) on Tuesday. Also on Tuesday, Centaurus will play at Silver Creek (6-4).
Peak to Peak 50, Centaurus 44
At Centaurus H.S.
PEAK TO PEAK (5-4)
N. Dee 2 0-2 4, J. Dee 7 12-13 28, Rohilla 0 0-0 0, Griffith 1 0-0 2, Baker 5 0-1 10, Shriver 0 0-0 0, Weyer 0 0-0 0, Starbuck 2 2-5 6. Totals 17 14-21 50.
CENTAURUS (4-5, 0-2)
Gambon 4 2-2 11, Platt 3 2-3 9, Bickel 0 0-0 0, Beasley 2 0-0 4, Negery 0 0-0 0, Robins 3 2-2 8, Fase 1 1-2 3, De Lavallade 3 3-6 9. Totals 16 10-15 44.
Score by quarters:Peak to Peak 6 15 13 16 — 50
Centaurus 5 17 6 16 — 44
3-point field goals — Peak to Peak (2): Rohilla 2; Centaurus (2): Rohilla, Platt. Total fouls — Peak to Peak 17, Centaurus 23. Fouled out — Beasley.