BOULDER — Friday's victory against fellow Front Range League front-runner Greeley West may go down as the Boulder basketball team's most important victory if the Panthers hope to win a conference title.

Playing at home, the Panthers (12-5, 6-1 Front Range) finally wrested the lead from the Spartans (13-4, 4-2 Front Range) to get a 70-63 win. Even fresh off a rivalry win over Fairview at Coors Events Center on Tuesday night, it took everything the Panthers had to turn around and hold of the surging Spartans.

"If we didn't do the little things like take charges, make key shots and hit free throws, we would have lost that game," said Panthers junior Peter Chopra, who led Boulder with nine rebounds and took a key charge in tight fourth quarter. "We all played really well and it's an amazing win for us."

After the lead changed hands five separate times in the first half, Boulder guard Landon Taliaferro (16.4 ppg) tied the game with 4.8 seconds left in the second quarter and the teams entered the halftime break tied 29-29.

There were five more lead changes in the third quarter, which began with Luke Wilson hitting a 3-pointer to give Boulder the lead. While he scored just three points in the first half, Wilson scored 12 in the third quarter.

"I told Luke and Landon that seven first-half points between them wasn't good enough and weren't going to win unless they did better in the second," Panthers head coach Jack Clarke said. "They responded and so did every one of our guys."


Taliaferro, who combined with Wilson to score 31 second-half points, hit a 3-pointer to put Boulder up two with 1:41 left in the third quarter. Senior Jack Boyle grabbed an offensive rebound and converted a 3-point play at the line that gave the Panthers a 49-44 lead to start the fourth. Shooting free throws for most of the fourth quarter, the Panthers made 16 of 18 attempts to hold the lead in the final frame.

In the game, the Panthers shot 23-for-26 at the free-throw line. They also hit 11 3-pointers.

"It was a great team win," said Wilson, who led the Panthers with 22 points. "We had four or five guys who scored more than 10 points and we were great at the free-throw line. I didn't do my part in the first half but I was more decisive in the second."

The Panthers will play on the road against Mountain Range (5-11, 1-4 Front Range) on Tuesday.

Brad Cochi: or

Boulder 70, Greeley West 63

At Boulder H.S.

GREELEY WEST (13-4, 4-2)

Sepeda 2 0-0 6, Thomson 2 0-0 5, DeLaCroix 3 2-4 10, Lopez 2 1-2 6, Marion 3 2-4 8, Gillingham 13 0-0 28. Totals 25 5-10 63.

BOULDER (12-5, 6-1)

McNeal 0 0-0 0, Wilson 4 11-11 22, Taliaferro 4 6-6 16, Kang 0 0-0 0, Kirk 0 2-2 2, Chopra 1 2-2 4, DiScipio 4 1-2 13, Ryan 0 0-0 0, Pulchinos 0 0-0 0, Baker 0 0-0 0, Boyle 4 1-3 11, Posthumus 1 0-0 2, Blessing 1 0-0 2. Totals 19 23-26 70..

Score by quarters:

Greeley West 14 15 15 19 — 63

Boulder 18 11 20 21 — 70

3-point field goals — Greeley West (8): Gillingham 2, DeLeCroix 2, Sepeda 2, Lopez, Thomson; Boulder (11): DiScipio 4, Wilson 3, Taliaferro 2, Boyle 2. Total fouls — Greeley West 19, Boulder 14.