BOULDER — Boulder didn't want to talk about moral victories following its sixth straight defeat on Tuesday night.
The Panthers are still confident brighter days are ahead.
Continuing down a high-powered nonconference schedule, Boulder fell to Mountain Vista 61-46 on its home floor.
Asked about the schedule and the talent of CHSAANow's seventh-ranked Golden Eagles, first-year coach Riley Grabau wouldn't give into excuses.
The hope for his young team is simple: Grow and continue to get better.
"I hope our guys see it as learning, and we're growing and we're learning new things," Grabau said. "We're learning new things on offense and we're learning new things on defense. And hopefully they stay the course, they don't give up and they keep doing what we're trying to emphasize."
If the emphasis was D: Not bad on Tuesday.
The Panthers (1-6) held Mountain Vista (5-0) to its second-lowest point total of the year. The Golden Eagles came into the night averaging 73 points per game and had scored at least 76 in three of their first four games.
Boulder still couldn't keep up.
The Panthers never led but kept things tight throughout the first half. Mountain Vista, with a 29-19 advantage at the break, took off in the second half and pushed its lead to as many as 20 by the fourth quarter.
"Obviously there's no moral victories," Boulder senior Miller Davison said. "It's going to be a good season. I think the first six or seven games don't determine the rest of the season. I think a big part of it is limiting the turnovers and I have complete, 100 percent faith in our team, in our coach, in our staff and what we're going to do this year."
Drake Arthur had 10 points, Jackson Tanner nine and Davison seven for the Panthers, who suffered another defeat as part of an early schedule that features two teams in the top 10 of 5A and an overall 25-9 record coming into Tuesday.
Ben Grusing led the Golden Eagles with 20 points and Simon May added 13.
Grusing hit consecutive 3s and scored nine straight for Vista in the second to push the lead to 25-14. Late in the quarter the senior shooting guard then drove into the lane and made a pinpoint feed to May, who took the ball while suspended in the air and tapped it off the glass.
Vista led 43-25 in the third before Boulder fought back with a 6-0 run led by a 3 from Giles Schmid, who finished with five points off the bench. The Golden Eagles then pushed the lead to 61-41 in the fourth before the Panthers answered with the final five points.
In the waning minutes, Alex Van Bussum went down with an apparent shoulder injury. The Panthers are already expected to be without Caleb Wehmuller (ACL), last year's leading scorer, for the season.
Next up for Boulder is No. 2 ThunderRidge on Friday.
"I love this group of young men," Grabau said. "I'll go to battle with them any day of the week. I don't care who we're playing against, the (Golden State) Warriors, it don't matter. We'll compete and we'll play hard."
Brent W. New: email@example.com and @brentwnew
Mountain Vista 61, Boulder 46
At Boulder HS
Mountain Vista (5-0)
Miller 0 0-0 0, May 5 0-0 13, Kimmell 2 0-0 5, Fisch 0 0-0 0, Gamble 2 0-0 5, Grusing 8 2-5 20, Thomas 0 0-0 0, Pulling 4 0-0 8, Bowen 0 0-0 0, Boeyink 1 4-5 6, Kelly 1 2-2 4, Easton 0 0-0 0.
Van Bussum 1 1-2 3, Sessions 2 0-0 4, Bartsch 1 0-0 2, Turner 0 0-1 0, Starry 0 0-0 0, Schmid 1 2-2 5, Tanner 3 3-5 9, Blessing 0 0-0 0, Arthur 3 2-3 10, Davison 2 3-4 7, Boyle 2 0-0 5, Rucker 0 1-2 1.
Score by quarters:Mountain Vista (5-0) 14 15 18 14 — 61
3-point field goals — Mountain Vista (7): May 3, Grusing 2, Kimmell, Gamble; Boulder (4): Arthur 2, Boyle, Schmid. Total fouls — Mountain Vista 17; Boulder 9. Fouled out — No players fouled out. Technical fouls — No technical fouls were issued.