JOSHUA BUCK
Shining Mountain’s Colin Cantwell dunks over Longmont Christian defenders during the home Lions’ victory on Tuesday night.

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BOULDER — Shining Mountain plays in Colorado’s smallest classification in boys basketball, but the Lions may very well have what it takes to come up big this season.

The north Boulder school, which returns five of its top six players from a team that went to the 1A state quarterfinals last season, demonstrated its potential early in Tuesday night’s home opener against Longmont Christian.

Ranked sixth in the state in 1A, Shining Mountain built a 26-4 lead by the middle of the second quarter and cruised to a 52-32 victory over the Warriors.

“You’d be hard-pressed to find 1A teams with the size they have,” Jerry Martin, coach of 2A Longmont Christian, said of the Lions. “They have a lot of guys over 6-2, 6-3, and that’s a plus right there. But they’re not just tall. They’ve got some kids that can move and that have some body weight to them. Those are pluses at any level.

“That’s as good a 1A team, as far as length and strength, that I’ve seen in the last couple of years for sure.”

With its third consecutive victory, Shining Mountain improved to 4-2, including 4-1 against Colorado opponents. Longmont Christian dropped to 0-2.

A zone defense by Shining Mountain gave Longmont Christian fits, particularly in the first half. For the game, the Lions turned the ball over 22 times and shot just 17.6 percent from the field (9 of 51). Until the fourth quarter, Longmont Christian had made just one 2-point field goal, to go along with five treys.

“I think the kids were really pumped up because it was their first home game,” Shining Mountain coach Enoch Miller said. “We had too many turnovers (24, including 10 in the fourth period), but I don’t think it was for lack of effort. It was lack of execution.”

With the Lions’ size advantage, Colin Cantwell finished with a game-high 16 points, while Jason Ellinwood added a dozen and Andrew Bremner 10. Longmont Christian didn’t get anyone into double figures as Austin Jauregui led the way with eight points.

“We’re just trying to work as hard as we can and see how far we can go” this season, Cantwell said. “I think we have the ability to go to state (eight teams qualify in 1A) and maybe further than last year.”

Miller said his team is motivated to make another run at state this year, especially given all the Lions’ returning talent. Shining Mountain has won its last three games by a combined 78 points.

“They worked very hard all summer and they went to several team camps,” the coach said of the Lions. “They played in a spring league and a summer league and they played against good competition — bigger schools all the way through. They’ve put in a lot of effort to get to (state) first and foremost, then to go further (than last season).”

Shining Mountain, which defeated Longmont Christian for the third straight season, won’t return to action until Jan. 2, when it hosts Denver Jewish Day. Longmont Christian is at Faith Baptist on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

 

Shining Mountain 52, Longmont Christian 32

At Shining Mountain HS

LONGMONT CHRISTIAN (0-2)

Cowan 2 0-1 5, Flowers 0 0-0 0, Bolyard 2 0-0 6, Jauregui 2 3-3 8, Dick 0 3-6 3, Charles 1 0-0 2, Rodarte 1 3-3 6, Leetch 0 0-0 0, Thompson 1 0-2 2, Wehrli 0 0-0 0. Totals 9 9-15 32.

SHINING MOUNTAIN (4-2)

Beal 2 1-1 5, Bremner 4 2-3 10, Feigal 0 1-2 1, Cantwell 8 0-3 16, Ellinwood 4 4-5 12, Walsh 0 0-0 0, Siy 0 2-4 2, Parrish 0 0-0 0, Johnston 1 2-3 5, Hussey 0 1-2 1. Totals 19 13-23 52.

Score by quarters:

Longmont Christian 3 7 11 11 — 32

Shining Mountain 18 14 14 6 — 52

 

3-point field goals Longmont Christian (5): Bolyard 2, Cowan, Rodarte, Jauregui; Shining Mountain (1): Johnston. Total fouls — Longmont Christian 19, Shining Mountain 17. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — none.

 



Longmont Chr. girls 36,

Shining Mountain 30

The Longmont Christian girls were able to capitalize on a strong final quarter to keep Shining Mountain winless in three games.

Close through three quarters of play, the Warriors broke out and outscored the Lions 14-5 in the fourth quarter. For Shining Mountain, it was a night of missed opportunities, as the Lions went 3 for 11 from the free-throw line.

At Shining Mountain HS

LONGMONT CHRISTIAN

Ashley 0 1-4 1, Ehr 4 0-1 8, Mary 1 0-0 2, Lenehan 5 3-4 12, Moxness 3 2-5 8, Elizabeth 0 1-2 1, Allison 1 0-2 2 .

SHINING MOUNTAIN (0-3)

Sheehan 0 0-0 0, Schram 2 1-2 5, Kring 2 0-0 5, Zuspan 5 0-0 10, Weinstein 1 0-2 2, Levine 2 0-4 4, Mason 0 1-1 1, Krick 1 1-2 3.

Score by quarters:

Longmont Christian 4 6 12 14 — 36

Shining Mountain 9 6 10 5 — 30