LONGMONT — When senior point guard Luke Johnson is dialed in enough to average nearly 10 points a quarter while scoring in a number of different ways, the Longmont boys basketball team is a treat to watch.
On days when the Longmont boys play team defense at a high level on their home floor, the Trojans are an incredibly difficult team to beat. The Mead Mavericks bore the brunt of the Trojans' two greatest strengths working simultaneously on Saturday afternoon.
Looking every bit the sixth-ranked team that they are, the Trojans stifled the cross-town rival Mavericks while Johnson spread out a season-high 32 points for a 67-44 victory that pushed their win streak to seven games.
"Luke provides so much for us on the offensive end that it kind of lets us take a break on offense so we can be ready to go at the defensive end," Trojans junior Brady Renck said. "We have a lot of different defenses that we trust and we're getting into a rhythm to where we can swing through about three or four of them every game. We take pride in defending our home court and being one of the best defensive teams in the state. I think today we showed that again."
Johnson, who leads the Trojans with 19.0 points per game, scored eight points in each of the first two quarters, nine in the third and seven in the fourth.
The Trojans took an early lead behind a hot start from junior forward Calvin Seamons, who opened the game shooting 3 for 4 from the field and scored all seven of his points in the first quarter. Up 17-10 after the first, the Trojans held the Mavericks to eight points in the second quarter and led 37-16 at halftime.
On top of Johnson's scoring, Renck's leadership at the defensive end and Seamons' hot start, head coach Jeff Kloster said he was most impressed with the Trojans' team-wide chemistry on Saturday afternoon.
"The biggest thing I'm trying to get these guys to do is to enjoy the moment, to enjoy every chance we get to step on the floor," Kloster said. "I want them to have the attitude that we've always prided ourselves on our defense and how hard we're willing to work. Tonight, you could see how they really enjoyed playing with one another. They made the extra pass, they got to the rim and they did all the things that are signs of a really good team."
Mead's struggles continued in the second half and the Mavericks ended up well below their season scoring average, which sat at 62.9 points entering Saturday's game. Will Maher scored nine of his team-high 14 points in the fourth quarter.
The Trojans now have a 6-1 lead in the teams' all-time series, in which four of the six games before Saturday had been decided by 10 or fewer points.
"They thoroughly outplayed us in every facet," Mavericks head coach Darin Reese said. "They had a better sense of urgency, better with the ball, better at the defensive end. We really didn't play well. They're a good, disciplined team and we just didn't match that tonight."
Reese said the Mavericks will need to clean things up before next week, during which they will face a pair of Tri-Valley League contenders in Windsor and Holy Family. The Trojans will also have a big game next week when they travel across town to face No. 2 Silver Creek on Tuesday.
Longmont 67, Mead 44
At Longmont H.S.
Ayers 2 0-0 5, Jacobs 1 1-2 3, Maher 4 3-5 14, Wilhelm 1 2-3 4, Ward 0 2-3 2, Lee 1 2-5 4, Silbernagel 1 0-0 2, Edwards 2 1-4 6, Wilke 1 2-2 4, KJ Jacobs 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 14-24 44.
Derksen 0 0-0 0, Johnson 11 7-9 32, Renck 1 1-4 3, Elkins 3 2-2 8, Dye 3 1-2 7, Dehning 1 1-2 3, Dion 2 0-0 5, Rulon 0 0-0 0, Sprecher 0 0-0 0, Page 1 0-0 2, Seamons 3 0-0 7, Kurjak 0 0-0 0, Fieth 0 0-0 0. Totals 25 12-19 67
Score by quarters:Mead 1061216—44
3-point field goals — Mead (4): Maher 2, Edwards, Ayers; Longmont (5): Johnson 3, Seamons, Dion. Total fouls — Mead 17, Longmont 20.