LOUISVILLE — Remember that 1-9 start for Boulder? Panthers junior Pete Boyle sighed thinking of it — as if he was drifting back to some long and distant memory.
Figuratively, "it's a whole different team," he said.
And literally, they can do damage in a hurry.
Serenaded by chants of "We shoot 3s" by a fervent traveling student section behind its bench, Boulder looked at home in an 86-55 road victory over Monarch on Friday night, hitting 11 of its season-high 16 3s in the opening half.
In a dazzling start from deep, one in which Boyle called "a blast", the Panthers (9-10, 7-1 5A Front Range League) went 11-of-17 from behind the arc in building a 46-26 halftime lead.
Sparked by impressive ball movement, seven different players took their turn in contributing to the long-range arsenal. Colorado coach Tad Boyle's son led the way with five 3s and 15 points, and Giles Schmid added 15 of his own.
"We like to shoot because one of our goals is to get a bunch of offensive rebounds," the junior Boyle said. "So, when we're letting it fly, we want to go get those O-boards. And sometimes shots go in, so we don't need to get the O-boards."
Make or miss, first-year coach Riley Grabau is just excited his team is playing so in-tune.
"I looked at the first-half stats and we had 14 assists — that means we were moving the ball and playing for each other," said Grabau, whose team finished with 23 dishes. "This group is clicking."
Boulder won for the eighth time in nine games — its one loss in 2019 coming by a single point in overtime to Broomfield on Jan. 18.
Currently, it sits a game back of Fairview atop the league standings. What their Valentine's Day matchup may mean in the scheme of things is pending.
"I mean I'm not going to lie, I think our players, and sometimes I do it, I mean I look at the standings," Grabau said. "But it comes down to who we got next or win the next day. We got practice tomorrow — did we get better or did we not?"
Monarch (5-14, 1-7), meanwhile, suffered its fourth straight loss despite a nice night from big man John Grigsby, who hit five 3s of his own and finished with a game-high 24 points. In a latter half that wasn't close, Grigsby still gave the home crowd something to marvel over with a two-handed dunk in the fourth.
Most of the other highlights belonged to Boulder.
The Panthers opened by hitting four of their first five attempts from deep and then hit 6 of 8 in the second. They spread the floor, hit open shots and invigorated their bench with harassing defense — an Alex Rucker swat into the stands among it.
Boulder had five different players score to open the game as the lead went to 14-7. Monarch rallied back and Grigsby's 3 in the waning seconds of the quarter tied things at 19-all.
The Panthers took control in the second with four straight 3s, outscoring the Coyotes 27-7 in the quarter. They never led by fewer than 17 in the second half.
Boulder, with its confidence growing, will look to even its record against Horizon Tuesday.
"We do feel like we're a threat," Schmid said, "that we could play with anybody if we want to."
Brent W. New: firstname.lastname@example.org and @brentwnew
Boulder 86, Monarch 55
At Monarch HS
BOULDER (9-10, 7-1)
Sessions 3 0-0 9, Bartsch 2 2-3 6, R. Turner 0 4-6 4, Starry 0 0-0 0, Schmid 5 3-3 15, Tanner 1 5-8 7, Blessing 1 0-0 3, T. Turner 2 3-4 9, Arthur 1 2-2 5, Davison 2 1-1 5, Boyle 5 0-0 15, Rucker 2 2-2 8. Team 24 22-29 86.
MONARCH (5-14, 1-7)
Alexander 1 2-2 5, Cadichon 0 0-0 0, Davis 2 3-3 8, M. Chen 0 0-0 0, Germain 1 1-5 3, Covington 3 1-3 7, Stewart 0 0-0 0, Grigsby 9 1-2 24, Chen 0 0-0 0, Henderson 3 0-2 8, Carlson 0 0-0 0, Humphrey 0 0-0 0. Team 19 8-17 55.
Score by quarters:Boulder 19 27 19 21 — 86
3-point field goals — Boulder (16): Boyle 5, Sessions 3, Schmid 2, T. Turner 2, Rucker 2, Blessing, Arthur; Monarch (9): Grigsby 5, Henderson 2, Davis, Alexander. Total fouls — Boulder 18, Monarch 24. Fouled out — Monarch: Covington. Technical fouls — Monarch: Henderson.