Boulder’s Peter Chopra puts u p a shot over Kyle Nash of Horizon Tuesday. Go to for more photos.
Boulder's Peter Chopra puts u p a shot over Kyle Nash of Horizon Tuesday. Go to for more photos. (Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer)

BOULDER — Shhhhh ... Be very quiet and you might be able to here the Boulder Panthers coming.

After a grueling December schedule that left coach Jack Clarke's young team on the wrong side of the .500 mark, they have started to gain some steam in January and make some hay in the Front Range League.

On Tuesday, in a game that they needed to win if they were going to be taken seriously in the league title discussions, Boulder played arguably its best half of basketball against Horizon in the first and made it stand up for a 60-43 win over the Hawks to move to 7-6 overall and 3-1 in the FRL.

"We came out with the right approach and we said we really wanted to match their energy from the tip and I thought we matched it and then some," said Clarke, whose team will try to keep the mojo going on Wednesday night at home against Abraham Lincoln in a nonleague game. "It is really nice when other guys can make plays early in the game and open some stuff up for the others."

Possibly the biggest play of the first quarter that saw the Panthers open on a 13-2 run was a four-point play from junior Davis Kang. He drilled a 3-pointer from deep in the corner and was hacked on the arm in the process by the Hawks defender., then culminated the play by hitting the free-throw.


With the onus on not turning the ball over against a Horizon team that was very good in transition, the Panthers committed just two first half turnovers and made the most out of every possession.

"That was for sure the best half we've played all year," said senior Luke Wilson, who scored 17 points. "But it all started to the practices leading up to this game, everybody watching film and all the energy we had leading up to the game was a huge help and those guys on the bench had a lot of energy too."

In addition to Wilson's 17, his back court running mate — junior Alec Sinner — also finished with 17 and Peter Chopra chipped in with 12.

"We love our schedule and, yeah, we are 7-6 and that tells you that we are pretty average," Clarke said. "But love what our schedule did for us and we think and our kids think, they know we are battle tested and every game the rest of the way, we have a shot to win."

Phillip Espinoza led the way for the Hawks (6-7, 0-3) with 12 points and Sawyer Cirbo had 11.

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At Boulder

HORIZON (6-7, 0-3)

Wyatt Dragoo 1 0-0 2, Jacob Marx 1 0-0 3, Brandon Mortensen 2 2-3 6, Kyle Nash 0 0-0 0, Daniel Moore 2 2-2 6, Sawyer Cirbo 4 0-0 11, Grayson Stubbs 0 0-0 0, Phillip Espinoza 6 0-0 12, Justin Nitura 0 0-0 0, Kaden Bennett 0 1-2 1, Alex Lawrence 0 2-2 2, Elijah Leyshon 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 7-9 43.

BOULDER (7-6, 3-1)

Alec Sinner 6 1-3 17, Luke Wilson 5 4-4 17, Elijah Edwards 0 1-2 1, Lawson Scalia 0 0-0 0, Ben Davis 0 0-0 0, Davis Kang 2 1-1 6, Teddy Dulchinos 0 0-1 0, Peter Chopra 6 0-1 12, Henry Ryan 2 0-0 5, Tyler Blessing 1 0-0 2, Elliott McKee 0 0-0 0, Trevor Newell 0 0-0 0, Miller Davison 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 7-12 60.

Score by quarters:

Horizon 6 12 11 14 — 43

Boulder 17 22 8 13 — 60

3-point field goals — Horizon (4): Cirbo 3, Marx; Boulder (9): Sinner 4, Wilson 3, Kang, Ryan. Total fouls — Horizon 16; Boulder 15. Technical foul — Horizon bench.