LAFAYETTE — Emotions perhaps got the best of the Dawson School boys basketball team on Friday night against Lyons.
Despite the foul problems that factored into a big rally from the visiting Lyons in their Mile High League opener, including two technical fouls, the Mustangs were calm enough to sink the shots down the stretch that guided them to a 59-55 win as they returned to action from holiday break.
Holding as much as an 11-point lead at 34-23 with 5 minutes, 24 seconds to go in the third quarter, Dawson escaped with the victory by bearing down at the free throw line in the final minute of play.
Gavyn Pure (21 total points) and Bryce Bickel (seven points, all in the second half) hit the charity stripe shots in that final minute, while Jordy Grant-Krenz made three aggressive drives for six of his nine points in the final stanza, sending the Mustangs to 4-1 overall on the season.
"It felt great to win at home in front of our great crowd, and it was great intensity," said Grant-Krenz, whose team doesn't play again until next Thursday at Heritage Christian. "(The layoff) was rough, I mean we had one practice and it was a walk-through, and then we had the snow day the other day... but we did what we do, and that's pull together and just scrap for a win."
Both teams got into a ferocious scoring rhythm out of halftime after the hosts took just a 25-21 lead to the break. Lyons' Joe McCain hit three 3-pointers in the third to help bring LHS back from that double-digit deficit, and his trey with 5:49 left in the fourth quarter gave Lyons a short-lived 44-42 lead.
Over the next 3 1/2 minutes, Dawson went on a 10-1 run keyed by paint production, but Lyons answered with a 7-0 spurt of its own — five of those points coming from the free-throw line — to tie it at 52-52 with 1:11 left.
Grant-Krenz and Levi Nagy traded buckets to make it 54-54 with 45 seconds to go, but after two Pure free throws gave Dawson the lead again Lyons turned the ball over with 25 seconds left. Pure and Bickel then closed it out smoothly at the stripe.
The Mustangs rode the inside presence of Pure and Nick Timms early, but both got into foul trouble and Timms was forced to miss most of the second and third quarters. He finished with 12 points before fouling out.
"For us, it's about understanding how to get through adversity and I think we did a good job of that tonight," Dawson head coach Tobin Skenandore said. "A lot of kids stepped up, and when you have three major players (foul out), it's up to them and they learned well."
Lyons trailed much of the first half but kept it within striking distance for McCain, their best shooter, to get going. He finished with 13 points, while Nagy had 10 and Evan Reeves nine.
Lyons (4-3) will play Tuesday against Gilpin County.
Dawson School 59, Lyons 55
At Dawson School
LYONS (4-3, 0-1)
Chavez 2 0-1 4, Jonjak 2 0-0 5, Keane 1 2-4 4, McCain 4 1-2 13, Reeves 1 7-8 9, Theriault 0 0-0 0, Nagy 3 4-5 10, Frohling 4 2-3 10. Totals 17 16-23 55.
DAWSON SCHOOL (4-1, 1-0)
Cropanzano 0 0-2, 0, Shams 1 2-2 4, Day 0 2-2 2, Bickel 3 1-2 7, Grant-Krenz 4 0-0 9, Fulkerson 1 0-0 2, Pure 6 7-12 21, Watts 1 0-0 2, Timms 5 2-2 12. Totals 21 14-22 59.
Score by quarters:Lyons 9 12 16 18 — 55
Dawson 13 12 13 21 — 59
3-point field goals — Lyons (5): McCain 4, Jonjak; Dawson (3): Pure 2, Grant Krenz. Fouled out — Watts, Shams, Timms. Technical fouls — Cropanzano, Pure.