BROOMFIELD — Seconds left on the clock and the game on the line — Evan Kihn lives for those moments. It was easy to see why Friday night. The Broomfield junior understands how to be a hero in those situations.
The guard helped deliver the Eagles a 67-65 overtime upset over highly touted Lewis-Palmer, coming up with some of his team’s most clutch play. Kihn hit free throws and made big defensive plays in the extra minutes. But it was his final shot of regulation that was his most important of Broomfield’s second outing of the year.
Kihn’s drive up the lane and jumper with a second left in the fourth quarter were ugly. But the wobbly shot in a load of traffic also turned out to be his most memorable when it hit the mark to force overtime.
“I thought I had made the right choice driving,” said the junior, who finished with 15 points. “It turned out to be the one of the greatest shots in my career.”
Kihn did not drag his feet after keeping Broomfield (2-0) alive. He was also part of one series of plays that set Lewis-Palmer (0-1) on its heels for good.
The Eagles took their final lead with 1:07 left in overtime, with the team going on a 9-0 run. For his part, Kihn hit 3 of his 5 free throws of the period in the stretch and came up with a steal on the Rangers’ first possession after Broomfield took the lead. But the junior was far from the only Eagle to fire up when the team most needed it.
Spenser Reeb also had a well-tuned sense of dramatic heroics, hitting the night’s biggest 3-pointer. The junior gave his team its second and final lead of the evening with a deep shot just off the top of the key.
“That’s who Spencer is,” Kihn said. “He’s a big-time player, this was a big-time game and he stepped up.”
Reeb had to endure plenty before putting up the go-ahead 3-pointer. Broomfield had questionable shot selection at points in the game. The team shot only 26 percent from the field in the first 16 minutes of play and 33 percent from the field. Reeb was part of the shaky shooting, with the guard missing his first four 3-pointers of the game.
“I don’t know, I guess I was performing under pressure on the last shot,” Reeb said. “Coming back with that 3 after missing those first ones was huge.”
Broomfield played a tenacious style of defense, holding all but two Lewis-Palmer shooters in single digits by rotating through nine players. But the pair of Rangers to find the hoop did so effectively.
University of Colorado men’s basketball coach Tad Boyle was in the bleachers and had to be pleased with how his big recruit Josh Scott finished the night, with the 6-foot-10 center collecting a game-high 31 points. But there were some tense moments for Lewis-Palmer’s big man early on, with Broomfield’s outsized Dan Perse holding Scott to 8 points at half.
The Rangers’ more effective weapon throughout the entirety of match up was Justin Smith. The guard hit four 3-pointers to finish the night with 20 points and he gave his team its final lead with around 2:25 in the fourth, when he found himself alone under the net. But his lay-up did not spark the rally the Rangers were searching for, with Broomfield tying the game to send it into overtime moments later.
“(Broomfield coach Terrence Dunn) has a really scrappy bunch of kids,” Lewis-Palmer coach Russ McKinstry said. “I never felt comfortable tonight, even when we were up by 15 points. I figured it was going to come down to a few key possessions at the end.”
Broomfield 67, Lewis-Palmer 65
At Eagle Gym
Jor. Scott 1 1-4 3, Helwege 4 1-2 9, Hollenbach 0 1-2 1, Smith 8 0-0 20, Owns 0 1-3 1, Josh Scott 11 9-12 31. Total 24 13-23 65.
Perse 4 1-2 9, Ongarato 5 2-3 14, Wood 5 7-7 17, Reeb 2 1-2 8, Kihn 4 7-9 15, Jensen 1 0-0 2, Little 1 0-0 2. 23 18-23 67.
Score by quarters:
3-point field goals — Lewis-Palmer (4): Smith (4); Broomfield (3): Ongarato 2, Reeb. Total fouls — Lewis-Palmer 19, Broomfield 22. Fouled out — Jor. Scott, Owens. Technical fouls — none.