Longmont's Reilley Mau, right, is one of the big reasons the Trojans have managed to stay near the top of the Northern League this season despite losing some key contributors off of last year's state quarterfinal team.
David R Jennings
Longmont’s Reilley Mau, right, is one of the big reasons the Trojans have managed to stay near the top of the Northern League this season despite losing some key contributors off of last year’s state quarterfinal team.

LONGMONT — The Longmont boys basketball team was gearing up for its most important week of the season.

Suddenly that demanding week has grown markedly more difficult.

The surging Trojans have been making plans to welcome Broomfield and Greeley Central into their gym with the hope of exacting a little payback against the two clubs jockeying for position with Longmont atop the Class 4A Northern League standings.

However, due to Friday’s snowstorm, the Trojans’ game at rival Niwot was rescheduled from Friday to tonight, giving LHS four games in six days.

After hosting Broomfield on Tuesday and Greeley Central on Thursday, the Trojans — winners of five straight — will visit a much-improved Skyline club for another cross-town showdown on Saturday.

“It’s definitely a key week,” Longmont senior Reilly Mau said. “We didn’t do as well as we wanted to the last time we played (Broomfield and Central).”

Longmont staggered now played everyone in the somewhat out of the gate, falling to 7-5 after consecutive losses against Broomfield on Jan. 13 and Greeley Central on Jan. 17.

But the Trojans had a few reasons behind their uneven start. Several football players had to slowly get their basketball legs under them. And senior Josh Cogdill, the Trojans’ lone returning starter from last year’s Class 4A state quarterfinal team, suffered a groin injury early that caused him to miss four games.

With the lineup intact and players growing accustomed to their roles, Longmont has seemingly found its stride. The Trojans have won five straight games since those consecutive setbacks against Broomfield and Greeley Central behind an intense defense and a balanced offense.

Last year, the Trojans relied heavily on Cade Kloster, who reaped all-state honors while averaging about 23 points a game. Longmont does not boast that sort of standout this year, yet four Trojans players are averaging at least 9.6 points a game.

“We have a great feel for each other now,” senior Brian Donaire said. “We know what each other likes to do and where we like the ball. I think these will be the biggest games. Broomfield is No. 1 and we want to take their spot. And Central, we don’t want them to catch us.”

Longmont’s surge has improved the club’s record to 12-5 overall and 7-2 in the league. The Trojans are deadlocked with Greeley Central for second place, two games behind Broomfield. Both squads will be visiting Longmont, which has compiled a 5-0 mark at home.

First, however, the Trojans must deal with Niwot, a team they defeated 53-43 on Jan. 10. But after that game Niwot promptly recorded wins in seven of its next eight games, a streak that ended with a loss against Broomfield on Tuesday. Add the Skyline tilt to the equation, and Longmont undoubtedly will have a few tired legs in a little more than a week.

“I like where we were the first time around against Broomfield,” head coach Jeff Kloster said. “To be honest, we didn’t play very well against Greeley Central. And I also have to tip my hat, because they shot like 71 percent from the field.

“It comes down to little things. The preparation as far as the defense goes has to be a certain way. You have to play it that way as consistently as you can when you go up against those top dogs.”

Pat Rooney can be reached at rooneyp@dailycamera.com