HIGHLANDS RANCH — The Boulder boys basketball team executed one major part of its plan against Mountain Vista on Thursday night, but none of the other little things seemed to fall into place for the Panthers.
Dealt their first loss of the season, a 47-36 defeat at the hands of the Golden Eagles, the Panthers were able to slow the pace of the game down to their liking. They weren't, however, able to make shots and struggled with turnovers down the stretch.
Still, off to a 3-1 start in December, head coach Jack Clarke wasn't overly upset at the loss.
"It was exactly the pace we wanted to play at and we wanted to play a game in the 40's," Clarke said. "I've seen them score 40 in a quarter, so we were right there with them. Our first half was about as good as could be expected considering we didn't shoot the ball very well. Our fight and our enthusiasm were really good tonight. Our execution just wasn't there at the end."
Clarke added that the Panthers, who had 15 second-half turnovers after turning the ball over just five times in the first, had no reason to hang their heads but will also look back on Thursday's game as one that could have had a different result had they made a few more plays.
Trailing by just four points at halftime, the Panthers cut the Golden Eagles' lead to three early in the third quarter but trailed 35-26 to start the fourth. In need of a now-or-never push, the Panthers couldn't put any closing runs together once senior point guard and on-court leader Davis Kang fouled out with 4 minutes, 39 seconds left and the Panthers trailing by seven.
"That's not a good recipe for us," Clarke said of not having Kang in those critical moments. "He's our engine and he's able to settle us and get us organized and do a lot of things that most people probably don't notice. He's important and we're better with him on the floor."
Out of sorts after halftime, the Panthers were also called for multiple delay of game technical fouls. Averaging 58.7 points through their first three games, all wins, the low-scoring evening also was an unexpected departure from the Panthers' norm.
The Panthers will be back in action on Monday when they host Eaglecrest. The Eaglecrest Raptors are ranked ninth in Class 5A by the CHSAANow.com preseason poll.
Mountain Vista 47, Boulder 36
At Mountain Vista H.S.
Davis 0 0-0 0, Riley 1 0-0 2, Peterson 3 2-3 8, Kang 1 0-0 2, Sessions 0 0-0 0, Tebo 0 0-0 0, Erickson-Dunn 0 1-2 1, Turner 2 0-1 4, Wehmuller 3 4-5 10, Davidson 2 2-4 6. Totals 12 9-15 36.
MOUNTAIN VISTA (3-2)
Grusing 1 2-2 4, May 2 1-3 5, Kimmell 1 0-0 2, Sweeney 1 2-3 5, Albrechtsen 1 0-0 2, Pulling 0 0-0 0, Boeyink 1 3-4 6, Willis 1 0-0 3, Hafner 1 0-0 2, Staid 3 5-8 13, Wohleber 1 3-4 5. Totals 14 16-24 47.
Score by quarters:Boulder 71279—36
Mountain Vista 13101212—47
3-point field goals — Boulder (0): None; Mountain Vista (5): Staib 2, Willis, Boeyink, Sweeney. Total fouls — Boulder 21, Mountain Vista 22. Fouled out — Kang.