DENVER — From this season's beginning, the Shining Mountain boys basketball team has expected it to end with them making a deep run in the 1A state tournament.

At the midpoint of the 2015-16 campaign, the Lions are proving their lofty preseason goals may be realistic ones.

Picking up their seventh win with a 77-50 victory on the road at Denver Waldorf on Thursday night, the Lions are as hot as any team in their classification. They've won five straight games and don't show any signs of losing momentum.

"Our big thing is just conditioning and playing strong defense," Lions senior Gray Hill said. "Our defense leads to offense and we get breakaways that allow us to score easily. We also have some great shooters and when they get on streaks, they're lights out. Our overall goal is a state championship and that's been stated from day one."

Hill led the Lions (7-2, 2-0 5280 League) with 27 points against Denver Waldorf (5-5, 1-2 5280 League) and the Lions pulled away after leading by eight points at halftime. Shooting guard Luke Feigel helped the Lions race to a large lead in the second half by hitting three straight 3-pointers. As a team, the Lions made seven shots from behind the arc.

In their last five games, the Lions have averaged 72.4 points. Not only did Thursday's win continue the Lions' streak of high-scoring wins, it rectified last year's loss to Denver Waldorf that knocked the Lions out of the district tournament and ended their season.


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"We lost here in playoffs last year so we wanted to come out strong and show them we're a new team, a better team," Hill said. "We've been working hard in the offseason and we're clicking pretty well now. We spread the ball and got everyone involved and that paid off really well."

The Lions have lost just two just two teams this season - 4A Battle Mountain and Longmont Christian, which has been ranked in the CHSAANow.com top 10 all season and has lost just one game in Colorado.

"We have been putting up a lot of points but sometimes that can be deceiving," Lions head coach Sean Lynch said. "Some of that has been the style of play and trying to match some good opponents. But I do see our offense getting better and our defense improving too, which is what you want to see as a coach. The guys are excited and it should be fun the rest of the way."

Looking to keep the streak alive, the Lions will hit the road to take on Vail Christian (7-2, 4-0 Western Slope League) on Friday.

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

Shining Mountain 77, Denver Waldorf 50

At Denver Waldorf School

SHINING MOUNTAIN (7-2, 2-0)

Saliman 0 0-0 0, Kearney 0 0-0 0, Moser 1 0-0 2, R. Hill 0 0-0 0, G. Hill 11 4-7 27, Fegal 4 1-2 12, Fairmont 2 1-2 5, Edwards 2 0-0 5, Zeender 0 0-0 0, Mason 2 0-0 6, Cherin 3 0-0 6, Zubaedi 6 2-2 14, Thompson 0 0-0 0. Totals 31 8-13 77.

DENVER WALDORF (5-5, 1-2)

Cal Archer 2 1-5 6, Cam Archer 6 3-4 16, Zadeh 0 0-0 0, Wright 0 0-0 0, Smith 0 0-0 0, Mosebach 0 0-0 0, Morse 5 4-4 17, Vant Veer 2 0-0 5, Stoken 0 0-0 0, Walter 0 0-0 0, Rhysung 0 2-2 2, Daniels 2 2-4 4. Totals 17 12-19 50.

Score by quarters:

Shining Mountain 18 19 19 21 — 77

Denver Waldorf 13 16 11 10 — 50

3-point field goals — Shining Mountain (7): Fegal 3, Mason 2, Edwards, G. Hill; Denver Waldorf (6): Morse 3, Cal Archer, Cam Archer, Vant Veer. Total fouls — Shining Mountain 16, Denver Waldorf 16. Fouled out — Morse.