MEAD — Though the Holy Family boys basketball team has faced its share of adversity like any other team, things are starting to line up for the Tigers during the final week of the regular season.
Since losing by one point in a game that likely locked up the Tri-Valley League title for Windsor a week ago, the Tigers have had back-to-back strong starts in quality wins befitting a top-half playoff team. Holding the 24th spot in the Class 4A RPI before Tuesday night's game, the Tigers went on the road and won 55-39 against the 19th-place Mead Mavericks.
After the Tigers refused to let go of an early double-digit lead on Tuesday night to add another quality win to their resume, head coach Pete Villecco said he was proud that his team appears determined to finish the regular season on a high note.
"We started fast in our last game against Erie and that's something we're emphasizing," Villecco said. "Our guys were ready to compete and there's something about Mead that brings out the best in us. They're a great program, having gone to back-to-back final eights and they get our competitive juices flowing. I'm just excited that all of the adversity we've faced is developing some chemistry. It hasn't been easy but we're learning, we're growing and we're trying to give our best in every day that we have left."
The Tigers (14-8, 10-3 Tri-Valley), who have battled sickness, lineup turnover and self-inflicted headaches this season, defeated Erie by 37 points on Friday and rode that momentum to a 14-5 lead over the Mavericks (13-9, 9-4 Tri-Valley) after one quarter on Tuesday. With Kyle Helbig and Wega Kinoti combining for 10 of their 16 points in the second quarter, the Tigers led 30-16 at halftime.
Junior guard Tanner Baird scored eight of his team-high 14 points in the second half to help the Tigers, who held the Mavericks to 13 made shots in the game, stay in the lead.
"Here we are on February 13th and we're playing well," Villecco said. "For our standards, we've had too many ups and downs. But tonight was an up."
The Mavericks, who have reached the 4A Great Eight in back-to-back seasons, have lost back-to-back games to Windsor and Holy Family. They were led by Jax Wilke's 15 points on Tuesday night and will finish the regular season on Friday at Berthoud.
The Tigers will wrap up their regular-season schedule on Friday at home against Roosevelt.
Holy Family 55, Mead 39
At Mead H.S.
HOLY FAMILY (14-8, 10-3)
Nellis 1 0-0 2, Helbig 5 1-2 11, Baird 5 4-4 14, Pfenning 0 0-0 0, Kinoti 3 3-3 11, Sanders 2 1-3 5, Jolly 4 0-0 8, Hunter 2 0-0 4. Totals 22 9-12 55.
MEAD (13-9, 9-4)
Ayers 0 0-0 0, Jacobs 1 2-2 5, Maher 2 0-0 5, Wilhelm 0 0-2 0, Lee 0 0-0 0, Silbernagel 2 0-0 4, Edwards 3 4-5 10, Wilke 5 4-8 15. Totals 13 10-17 39.
Score by quarters:Holy Family 14161114—55
3-point field goals — Holy Family (2): Kinoti 2; Mead (3): Jacobs, Maher, Wilke. Total fouls — Holy Family 13, Mead 13.