Boys basketball: Broomfield defense too much for slumping Longmont

BROOMFIELD — To Broomfield senior Spenser Reeb, any win over rival Longmont is a good win and usually goes a long way toward helping the Eagles accomplish their goals.

At home in their own gym on Tuesday, the Eagles stifled the visiting Trojans to win 57-41. The type of swarming, high-energy defense they played against the Trojans was exactly what Reeb expects from the Eagles this season.

“It’s a tone-setter,” said Reeb, who led all scorers with 15 points. “If we get these big wins in the beginning, we’ll be rolling in the middle and we can finish strong. We’re playing pretty good but we’re still not to where we can be. If we can play some better defense, we’ll get there eventually.”

Coming off a stellar defensive performance against the Silver Creek Raptors, whom they held to a season-low 38 points in a victory, the Eagles held the Trojans to a season-low in points as well.

Reeb said the primary objective on defense was to front Trojans senior forward Marcus Johnson, who leads the team with 14.3 points per game, in the post. The Eagles’ successfully held the Trojans’ offensive centerpiece to four points on two field goals.

“We did a good job of that and kept up the ball pressure so they couldn’t get it in to him,” Reeb said. “We came out really focused on defense. That led to fast breaks and scoring. This is obviously a rivalry. I think we came out and did really well.”

Tied 8-8 after the first quarter, the Eagles quickly built a 23-14 halftime lead with a 15-4 run to open the second. The Trojans didn’t get closer than within six points after that.

The Eagles shared the scoring load. Senior point guard Evan Kihn scored 14 points, and senior Dan Perse scored 11, including a breakaway slam in the third quarter. Senior guard Chad Jukkala added nine, and junior Alex McLain had eight.

Broomfield head coach Terrence Dunn said the Eagles have talked a lot about building momentum and starting a hot streak. He said Tuesday’s win, the team’s fourth straight, was a good start.

Jukkala said the Eagles were solid through the first three quarters but lost focus when senior Tarren Macrae received a technical foul in the fourth quarter. Moving forward, Jukkala said, the Eagles will have to maintain their solid play for a full 32 minutes if they want to compete for a Northern Conference title.

“We played really well through the first three quarters,” said Jukkala, who scored nine points. “Starting off the conference (3-0) and getting a win against Longmont is always good. Going into Thompson Valley off of a strong win like that is nice.”

The Eagles travel to Loveland to face run-and-gunning Thompson Valley (8-4, 3-0) on Friday.

For the Trojans, their current slump continued Tuesday night. They are now are 1-3 since opening the season 5-0.

Senior point guard Felipe Alaniz led the Trojans with 11 points. Freshman Kevin Mitchell attacked the rim and played tough in the post, finishing with 10 points.

“Our biggest problem was that we didn’t go hard enough in warm-ups,” Mitchell said. “It always starts in the warm-ups. You’ve gotta start fast, always gotta start strong. We didn’t. We weren’t confident. We were timid.”

Mitchell said the Trojans will have to practice harder to break out of their current cold streak.

The Trojans will be on the road in Lafayette to take on Centaurus (3-9, 0-3) on Friday.

Follow Brad on Twitter: @BradCochi

Broomfield 57, Longmont 41

At Broomfield HS

LONGMONT (6-3, 1-2)

Alaniz 3 4-4 11, Sterkel 1 0-0 3, Jessup 3 0-0 7, Donaldson 0 0-0 0, Kemp 3 0-0 6, Sullivan 0 0-0 0, Mitchell 3 4-7 10, Johnson 2 0-0 4. Totals 15 8-11 41.

BROOMFIELD (8-3, 3-0)

Jukkala 4 1-1 9, Macrae 0 0-0 0, Perse 4 3-6 11, Reeb 5 4-4 15, Ericson 0 0-0 0, Kihn 4 5-6 14, McLain 2 4-4 8. Totals 19 17-21 57.

Score by quarters:

Longmont 8 6 13 14 — 41

Broomfield 8 15 17 17 — 57

3-point field goals — Longmont (3): Sterkel, Alaniz, Jessup; Broomfield (2): Kihn, Reeb. Total fouls — Longmont 18, Broomfield 14. Fouled out — Johnson, Kemp. Technical fouls — Macrae.