LONGMONT — George Gershwin would likely roll over in his grave when reviewing the tape of Tuesday's Mead at Skyline boys game.
The maestro behind the classic "I've Got Rhythm" would have found Tuesday's game to be slightly off key and out of step.
In a game that featured 48 fouls, it was Class 4A's No. 8 Mavericks that overcame the nasty tones of the referees whistles with a 59-51 victory over a very game Skyline squad that battled to the final buzzer.
"When we made that run, we got in a rhythm and there was a good flow to the game," said Mavericks coach Darin Reece, whose team opened up a 21 points lead, 42-21 in the third quarter. "But then it just came to a screeching halt there in the fourth quarter and we just kind of got out of sync."
Mead improves to 17-3 overall and 10-1 in the Tri-Valley. They are just one game behind Holy Family, who won by 20 on the road at Windsor on Tuesday. Skyline drops to 8-11 overall and 2-9 in the TVL.
The Falcons never-say-die approach, even when the were down by 21, started to take hold late in the third quarter. A 3-pointer by Demetrio Martinez, who struggled to find his stroke from behind the arc all night, cut the lead to 44-31 going into the final eight minutes.
Early in the fourth, Mead's Michael Ward, who was plagued with foul trouble for most of the night, picked up his fourth with 6:46 to play when the lead had been trimmed to 44-36.
"It's hard to get going when you in foul trouble," said Ward, who didn't re-enter the game until 2:34 remained in the game.
And to the Mavs credit, without their leading scorer, they maintained their lead, highlighted by a huge and-1 by Anthony Brin — although he missed the free throw.
"They did a good job of just moving it and taking care of it," Reese said. "We've got and experienced group and we can go 10 deep with good experienced, high IQ basketball kids and that was a good experience for them"
Skyline coach Tyler Cerveny, who spent the final two minutes of the game exchanging five offensive players for five defensive players, and his boys kept things close with outstanding efforts from guards Brayden Blick and Nate Higgins. That duo combined 31 points, including 18 in the second half comeback.
It was just what Ward and his teammates needed as they close in on the final stretch of the regular season that sees them face Windsor at home on Friday and travel to Holy Family next Tuesday.
"We know that teams are going to come out and play their best games against us," Ward said. We just have to come out and give our best too and battle.
"As long as we keep going hard and practicing hard every day, that is all we can give."
MEAD 59, SKYLINE 51
MEAD (17-3, 10-1)
Cameron Cheung 3 0-2 6, Dusan Kastratovic 0 0-0 0, Anthony Brin 1 0-1 2, Jax Wilke 2 1-3 6, Michael Ward 8 8-10 25, Derek Edwards 3 0-0 7, Michael Rice 3 0-1 7, Daniel Cloke 2 2-2 6. Totals 22 11-19 59.
SKYLINE (8-11, 2-9)
Connor Smith 0 0-0 0, Ben Lopez 0 0-0 0, Caleb Zietlow 0 0-0 0, Demetrio Martinez 2 1-2 7, Brayden Blick 3 10-112 19, Nate Higgins 4 4-4 12, Camilo Martinez 0 0-0 0, Gage Robertson 0 0-0 0, Hunter Gutierrez 3 0-1 6, Austin Robison 2 3-4 7, Ben Hall 0 0-0 0, Kyle Zimbleman 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 18-23 51.
Score by quarters:Mead 13 15 16 15 — 59
Skyline 9 12 10 20 — 51
3-point field goals — Mead (4): Wilke, Ward, Edwards, Rice; Skyline (5): Blick 3, D. Martinez 2. Total fouls — Mead 25; Skyline 23. Fouled out — Cloke.