BOULDER — Luke Wilson has had a lot of big moments in his home gym.

He may very well have saved his best for last on Wednesday night against Mullen in the opening round of the Mark Randall Region of the Class 5A state tournament.

"He just makes it look easy," Panthers coach Jack Clarke said.

Wilson poured in 31 points in 28th-seeded Boulder's 65-54 win over No. 37 Mullen to help advance the Panthers (15-9) to a Saturday date with No. 5 Rock Canyon.

Mullen, out of arguably the state's best league — the Centennial — wraps up the season 8-16.

"It's great, but I'm just happy we got the win," said Wilson, who eclipsed the 30 point mark for the second time this season. "It would be the worst game ever if I'd scored 30 and we lost, that doesn't really matter to me."

It wasn't a one-man show on Wednesday night either. The Panthers, after shaking off some earlier jitters — which should be expected in the first round of the playoffs — heated up offensively and it was another senior, Ben Davis that had the hot hand.

He knocked down three of his four 3-pointers in the opening eight minutes and when the Mustangs defense converged on him, he was able to find the open man.

Wilson, who scored 15 points in the first half, was able to break the Mullen defense down, getting to the basket with dribble drives and creating open looks for himself wherever he wanted.

"Everyone sees the scoring and everyone thinks he's a shooter, but he is so much more than that," Clarke said. "He's clutch in any game situation and he just wants to win.


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"How else would Luke go out, besides scoring 31? Tip of the cap to him."

And hats off to the Panthers defense who weren't going to let Mullen's leading scorer, Matteo Busnardo, beat them.

The senior, who averaged 18.8 per game this season, was held scoreless ... and better than that, he hoisted just two shots.

"He had like 33 and 10 against Overland and they have a ton more athleticism than we do," said Clarke, who saw Davis finish with 14 points and Peter Chopra with nine. "The way we approached it is the way we approached every other one, with togetherness and toughness. These guys are playing hard for each other."

Tanner Haas led the Mustangs with 16 points off the bench and sophomore Christian Davis had 11.

The Panthers will head to Rock Canyon on Saturday with nothing to lose and with the hopes that a regular season schedule that featured some of the top competition in the state will have them ready to go.

"We are going to go in there with the full expectation to win," said Wilson, who was 16 of 18 from the free thrown line. "Because we know we can and if we play our best ball, we know we can."

Jon Yunt: yuntj@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/JonEYunt

BOULDER 65, MULLEN 54

At Boulder

MULLEN (8-16)

Cinque Mason 0 0-0 0, Christian Davis 4 0-1 11, Nick Cito 1 0-0 2, Vaughnn Stitt 2 0-0 5, Matteo Busnardo 0 0-0 0, Cameron Wayne 0 0-0 0, Brady Parris 1 0-0 2, Aaron Boyd 4 0-1 10, Matt Veen 0 0-0 0, Tanner Haas 6 3-7 16, Reggie Parris 1 0-0 2, Connor Riepma 2 2-2 6. Totals 21 5-11 54

BOULDER (15-9)

Alec Sinner 1 0-1 2, Luke Wilson 7 16-18 31, Lawson Scalia 0 0-0 0, Ben Davis 5 0-0 14, Davis Kang 0 0-0 0, Teddy Dulchinos 1 0-0 2, Peter Chopra 4 0-0 9, Henry Ryan 2 2-2 6, Tyler Blessing 0 1-4 1, Elliott McKee 0 0-0 0, Miller Davison 0 0-0 0, Trevor Newell 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 19-25 65.

Score by quarters:

Mullen 11 10 8 25 — 54

Boulder 14 16 19 16 — 65

3-point field goals — Mullen (7): Davis 3, Boyd 2, Stitt, Haas; Boulder (6): Davis 4, Wilson, Chopra. Total fouls — Mullen 25, Boulder 12. Fouled out — Cito, Stitt, Boyd, R. Parris.