LONGMONT — A simple theme has defined the Longmont boys basketball team's last five games since suffering their first loss of the season.

The Trojans are whooping everyone.

After scoring 70-plus points in four straight games, the Longmont boys ramped up their defense to beat Niwot, 52-37 on Friday night.

"We learned a lot from that loss," Trojans senior Justinian Jessup said. "Our effort and our intensity has been great and that led to tips and steals and run-outs. We still had too many turnovers tonight but our shot selection and our sets were better. That's kind of what doomed us in the loss and what we have focused on since."

Jessup scored 1l points for the Trojans (16-1, 9-0 Northern) and teammate Kevin Mitchell scored a game-high 12. But the Trojans won the game at the defensive end, where they held Niwot (8-11, 4-6 Northern) to 12 points in the first half and forced 15 turnovers before halftime.

"I thought our intensity at the beginning was really, really good," Trojans head coach Jeff Kloster said. "We need to continue to focus on making better decisions. For my liking, we had a few too many turnovers tonight and that's something we need to clean up in practice. This is a big stretch for us and we tried to keep our kids fresh tonight."


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The Trojans will face Holy Family (12-5, 8-1 Tri-Valley) on the road Saturday afternoon. After that, they will finish the season with a tough stretch of five Northern League games. The key for the Trojans on Friday night was to avoid a similar dogfight with Niwot that they experienced when the two teams met on Jan. 12 and Longmont escaped with a 48-38 win.

"Fifteen turnovers in the first half is going to be difficult to come back from against anybody, especially Longmont," Niwot head coach Preston Hardy said. "We set the goal of staying under 10 turnovers and keeping them under 50 points, which we thought would give us a chance to win. We were close on one of those goals but not so close on the other. We came out and fought, we played them even in the second half.

"We can play defense. We've just got to find a way to take care of the ball."

Walker Bounds led the Cougars with nine points. Niwot will travel to face Thompson Valley (12-6, 7-2 Northern) on Saturday.

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

Longmont 52, Niwot 37

At Longmont H.S.

NIWOT (8-11, 4-6)

Kolakowski 1 0-0 3, Mason 0 0-0 0, Sims 0 0-0 0, Ito 1 2-2 4, Ramirez 0 0-0 0, Radatz 1 0-0 3, Kannegeiter 1 0-0 3, Barber 3 0-0 7, Agado 0 0-0 0, Meniver 0 0-0 0, Vigil 1 2-2 5, Oliver 1 1-2 3. Totals 13 6-7 37.

LONGMONT (16-1, 9-0)

Sullivan 2 3-3 7, Earhart 0 0-0 0, Johnson 0 0-0 0, Jessup 3 2-2 11, Speidel 1 0-0 3, Rothe 0 1-2 1, Bachman 3 2-3 8, Rulon 2 0-0 6, Mugunga 2 0-0 4, Dion 0 0-0 0, Mitchell 4 4-4 12, Riss 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 12-14 52.

Score by quarters:

Niwot 4 8 10 15 — 37

Longmont 13 14 13 12 — 52

3-point field goals — Niwot (5): Kolakowski, Radatz, Kannegeiter, Barber, Vigil; Longmont (4): Rulon 2, Jessup, Speidel. Total fouls — Niwot 14, Longmont 14.