LONGMONT — The Twin Peaks Charter Academy boys basketball program can give a full dissertation on growing pains.
Since being sanctioned by the CHSAA just a few years ago, they were lean early on and even had to abandon their varsity schedule for two seasons — a step no program wants to have to take.
But this year, with a deep bench and a senior-heavy crew led by a player in David Jarvis who has returned to the school after three years at Longmont, the Timberwolves appear to be headed in a direction they've yet to approach in the Mile High League.
The resume grew a little bit on Monday night with a convincing 69-18 home win over short-benched Nederland, and Twin Peaks improved to 5-1 on the season behind Jarvis's 19 points. The win gave Twin Peaks one more victory already in December than all of the 2016-17 season.
"Last year, these guys had a rough time but I really think this year we've gotten to know each other well on the court," said Jarvis, who made 8 of 17 attempts in the game including three 3-pointers. "I think it's time to show everyone what we're capable of, and we can accomplish that by never underestimating team strength. We have to play together to win.
"We can't anticipate a win or a loss before a game and we have to play good defense from the start. Defense is our biggest strength."
The Timberwolves have used that defense to get some pretty sound victories, too. Two of the five wins include Wiggins (currently 3-2 overall) and Lyons (2-2), and Twin Peaks also had a game against small-school powerhouse Limon where the T-Wolves led in the third quarter by eight before eventually losing.
It's those kind of wins that have shown the eight seniors on the team that 2017-18 might just be a memorable one. For head coach Cameron Wright, it's the start he thought his team was capable of.
"The boys are working hard, and it really comes down to this being a three-year process that started when they were sophomores," Wright said after watching his team force Nederland into 28 turnovers. "We shoot the ball well, and David has given us a great shooter around the perimeter. Our length up top helps defense create offense. We're excited, but I still think we're trying to figure out where exactly we fit. I feel very good about it, I'm not going to kid you."
Nederland (1-2) was missing five players Monday due to either injury or ineligibility, forcing the Panthers to suit up just seven — and two of those had never played the game prior to this season.
While Rain Larrabee (five blocked shots) and Taylor Hoffman provided a strong inside presence defensively through the game, the Panthers struggled to box out and allowed a number of offensive rebounds to the Timberwolves. That, along with NHS turnovers above the perimeter that led to fast-break opportunities, put TPCA ahead 22-0 after the first quarter.
Damon Vigil had eight points in the second quarter for Nederland, but the Panthers were affected deeply by empty possessions that resulted in no shots.
Hoffman had 13 rebounds, but overall the glass count favored the hosts 55-29.
"We can be good defensively on the inside, but we just didn't have that intensity tonight," Nederland head coach Kirt McCracken added. "We didn't shoot well, and we had a stripped-down offense missing our two best ball-handlers. Hopefully we'll play them better next time we see them."
Twin Peaks Charter 69, Nederland 18
Breche 0 0-0 0, Boutot 0 0-0 0, Malla 0 0-0 0, Morgan 1 0-2 3, Larrabee 0 0-1 0, Vigil 4 0-1 10, Hoffman 2 1-3 5. Totals 7 1-7 18.
TWIN PEAKS CHARTER (5-1)
Jarvis 8 0-0 19, Teeuwe 0 0-0 0, Wanninger 0 0-0 0, Phillips 3 0-0 6, Quintana 4 3-4 12, Widhalm 1 2-5 4, Sosa 1 1-2 3, Payan 6 0-0 14, Ellis 3 1-2 7, Dawson 2 0-2 4. Totals 28 7-15 69.
Score by quarters:Nederland0954—18
Twin Peaks Charter20192010—69
3-point field goals — Nederland (3): Vigil 2, Morgan; Twin Peaks Charter (6): Jarvis 3, Payan 2, Quintana.