BOULDER — After an 8-15 record last season, the Boulder boys basketball team’s 3-0 start is impressive enough for what it is.
But given the hardships they’ve faced early on, the Panthers’ start carries even more weight.
Playing without three starters on Thursday, BHS routed Pomona 62-41 at home, never trailing and shutting down the visitors with suffocating defense.
The victory marked BHS’ second in the three days since senior guard Marc Krimstock wrecked his bicycle on the way to school and ended up in intensive care with multiple fractures to his face and skull.
Krimstock, whom Boulder coach Eric Eisenhard said was “lucky to be alive,” returned home Thursday. The coach said it would likely be at least a month before Krimstock returns to the court.
Eisenhard, who has been visiting Krimstock twice per day since the accident, said his squad has done a great job of focusing despite the ordeal. It’s helped, the coach said, that Krimstock’s condition has been steadily improving.
“They were pretty shocked when they found out,” Eisenhard said. “The kids have been champing at the bit to go see him.”
Boulder was also without sophomore guard Garrett Turner on Thursday as he sat out with a sprained ankle after starting the first two games of the season. And the Panthers began the year without point guard Tommy Baumgartner, a starter all summer in offseason tournaments who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee near the end of football season.
But the Panthers have so far cooked up a formula for success regardless of who is on the floor– forcing turnovers and taking care of the ball themselves with a balanced attack.
With University of Colorado coach Tad Boyle looking on Thursday, nine players took the court for BHS, with eight of them scoring. Alejandro Rodriguez led the way with 13 points, while RJ Lampert and Kevin Van Lieshout pitched in 12 each.
But more impressive was the 31 turnovers forced by BHS. Entering the fourth quarter, Pomona had committed as many turnovers (26) as it had points.
“We always try to trust in everybody,” said Rodriguez, a foreign exchange student from Mexico who has taken over at point guard. “We play aggressive defense and trust the next guy to cover us.”
Boulder jumped out to an 11-0 lead and never looked back. Pomona (0-3), led by 17 points from Mitch Colin, didn’t score until more than half of the first quarter had expired.
While Boulder was wreaking havoc on defense, BHS committed only 13 turnovers of its own.
A Jonah Charnick putback just before halftime gave BHS a 35-17 lead at the intermission, and the Panthers led by as many as 24 in the second half.
“Three-and-0 is nice,” Eisenhard said. “But what I’m happiest about is we’re 3-0 executing our system.”
Boulder faces its toughest tests of the young season next week. The Panthers host 2-1 Golden on Tuesday before welcoming top-ranked Denver East to their gym on Dec. 14.
“It’s great,” Lampert said of BHS’ fast start. “We’ve been getting better in practice every day.
“We’re not entirely there yet but we’re getting there.”
BOULDER 62, POMONA 41
At Boulder HS
Colin 8 1-3 17Mayes 3 1-4 7, Estrada 2 1-1 5, Camara 1 0-0 2, Carter 0 0-0 0, Himes 1 0-0 2, Flores 0 0-0 0, Dettke 0 0-0 0, Ward 0 0-1 0, Larson 4 0-0 8. Totals 19 3-9 41.
Kelly 0 0-1 0, Szarmach 3 0-0 7, Charnick 2 0-0 4, Riverol 0 3-8 3, Van Lieshout 2 8-10 12, Lampert 4 4-4 12, Rodriguez 5 0-2 13, Bohm 2 0-2 4, Blessing 2 3-4 7. Totals 20 18-31 62.
Score by quarters:
Pomona 6 11 9 15 — 41
Boulder 18 17 9 16 — 62
3-point field goals — Pomona (0); Boulder (4): Rodriguez 3, Szarmach. Total fouls — Pomona 25, Boulder 15. Fouled out — Estrada, Himes. Technicals — None.