LAFAYETTE — The Dawson School boys basketball team wasn't thrilled by its own performance when the Mustangs had their shot at No. 1-ranked Highland on Tuesday.
But the Mustangs, who are themselves ranked ninth in the latest CHSAANow.com poll, are in the midst of one of their better seasons in recent memory. So the Mustangs and first-year head coach Tobin Skenandore know they don't have time to stay hung up on one rough outing if they want accomplish their big-picture goals.
Right back in action at home on Thursday, the Mustangs set themselves back on track with a 68-49 win over Jefferson.
"Highland was a tough game and we were really just trying to get back into the rhythm of things, get back to where we were a couple weeks ago," Mustangs senior Nick Timms said. "Tonight's win was a good start. Really, we were our own biggest opponent in the Highland game and we weren't playing as hard as we usually do. We came out with some fire tonight."
With the recent loss still fresh in their minds, the Mustangs (9-2, 4-1 Mile High) came out firing in Thursday's non-conference game against Jefferson (4-9, 3-3 Frontier). Led by a nine-point first quarter from Timms, the Mustangs jumped out to a 21-9 lead after the first frame and pushed that lead to 34-20 by halftime.
Timms (14.2 ppg) scored 17 of his game-high 21 points in the first and fourth quarters. Junior forward Gavyn Pure (19.1 ppg) scored 18 points and Jordy Grant-Kranz scored 13.
"This year has been a good one for us and we have a good group so we really want to see how far we can take it," said Timms, who added that the Mustangs are expecting a deep playoff run and hope to see Highland again in the postseason.
The Mustangs haven't had a winning season since the 2013-14 campaign. Having won nine of their last 10 games, however, they have put themselves in a position for a strong finish with seven games left to play.
"We're building a culture of success and it takes time," Skenandore said. "We have already had a lot of good things the past four years I've been here as an assistant coach that we can build on and the toughest thing is getting the kids motivated. They're hungry and they're motivated this year and you can't teach grit. They've got it. Success is new to us so we're taking it one game at a time."
The Mustangs will return to Mile High League play on Tuesday when they host Nederland.
Dawson 68, Jefferson 49
At Dawson School
Rice 1 0-0 2, McCall 0 0-0 0, Martinez 1 0-0 3, Monarrez-Adame 5 0-0 13, Pettiford 6 1-5 14, Pacheco 1 3-5 6, Alvear 1 2-3 4, Shangreaux 3 0-2 6. Totals 18 7-16 49.
Cropanzano 1 0-2 2, Shams 3 1-2 8, C. Grant-Krenz 0 0-0 0, Day 0 0-0 0, Bickel 3 0-0 6, J. Grant-Krenz 4 2-2 13, Fulkerson 0 0-0 0, Burridge 0 0-0 0, Geraghty 0 0-0 0, Pure 8 2-3 18, Watts 0 0-0 0, Timms 9 3-6 21. Totals 28 8-15 68.
Score by quarters:Jefferson 9 11 13 16 — 49 &
Dawson 21 13 17 17 — 68
3-point field goals — Jefferson (6): Monarrez-Adame 3, Pettiford, Pacheco, Martinez; Dawson (4): J. Grant-Krenz 3, Shams. Total fouls — Jefferson 11, Dawson 18.