AURORA — The Boulder boys basketball team found out on Saturday afternoon why the No. 1-ranked Rangeview Raiders remain undefeated nearly a month and a half into the season.
With the kind of basketball the top-ranked Raiders are playing right now, it will likely take a near-perfect effort for a team to knock them off. Still, the Panthers hung with the Raiders for 27 minutes before eventually falling 60-42.
"We came in feeling like we could play with them," Boulder senior Jack Boyle said. "For the first 27 minutes, that was the case. We were down four with about five minutes to go but I think we had 24 turnovers and it's hard to win a game, any game against any team, when you have that many. They just made plays down the stretch and we didn't."
Coming off a Friday night game in which the Panthers dismantled one-win Poudre 81-44, the Panthers (9-4, 3-0 Front Range) weren't as crisp and it hurt them against a Raiders (12-0) team that is averaging 71.8 points per game.
The Panthers made their aggressive intent clear early. They trailed by just two after the first quarter, during which the game was tied three separate times despite Panthers leading scorer Landon Taliaferro (16.6 ppg) mostly on the bench after picking up two fouls in the first three minutes. Trailing Rangeview 29-20 at halftime, the Panthers cut the lead to one in the first minute of the fourth quarter.
With 4 minutes, 15 seconds left, disaster struck for the Panthers.
A Panthers turnover at midcourt led to a Raiders fast break and a foul at the other end. Following the foul, the Panthers bench was called for two technical fouls. The sequence resulted in a five-point swing that put the Raiders up 51-40.
"This was two high-level teams who expect to be playing on the last weekend in March," Panthers head coach Jack Clarke said. "I thought we played really well. If you would have told me it was going to be a two-possession game with five minutes left, I would have taken it any day. Regardless of the technicals in the fourth quarter and having too many turnovers, this is a step in the right direction."
Senior guard Tyrei Randall (17.8 ppg) led the Raiders with 28 points while Taliaferro led Boulder with 14.
Though Saturday's loss snapped a four-game win streak, it also gave the Panthers new confidence with the meat of their conference schedule upcoming.
"Now we know we can play with any team in the state," Boyle said. "We feel like if we play this aggressive and this confident in league, then we can do some really good things."
The Panthers will host Broomfield (10-2, 3-0 Front Range) on Tuesday.
Rangeview 60, Boulder 42
At Rangeview H.S.
BOULDER (9-4, 3-0)
Peter McNeal 0 0-0 0, Luke Wilson 4 1-1 10, Landon Taliaferro 5 0-1 14, Savoy Carl 0 0-0 0, Sam Kirk 0 0-0 0, Peter Chopra 4 0-0 8, Bill DiScipio 2 0-0 4, Jake Baker 0 0-0 0, Jack Boyle 2 0-0 6. Totals 17 1-2 42.
Calvin Collins 0 0-0 0, Matthew Johnson 2 0-0 6, Jalen Guidry 2 0-1 4, Tyrei Randall 11 4-5 28, Kris Hollins 0 0-0 0, Elijah Blake 3 2-2 10, Marquis Kraemer 0 0-0 0, Elijah Reed 4 2-2 10, Stacie Reed 0 2-2 2. Totals 22 10-11 60.
Score by quarters:Boulder 13 7 17 5 — 42
Rangeview 15 14 12 19 — 60
3-point field goals — Boulder (7): Taliaferro 4, Boyle 2, Wilson; Rangeview (6): Johnson 2, Randall 2, Blake 2. Total fouls — Boulder 12, Rangeview 12. Technical fouls — Boulder bench 2.