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Legacy's Jeffrey Salazar (25) has his shot blocked by Fossil Ridge's Mike Solomon during Thursday's game at LHS.
David R. Jennings
Legacy’s Jeffrey Salazar (25) has his shot blocked by Fossil Ridge’s Mike Solomon during Thursday’s game at LHS.

BROOMFIELD — After a rough start to conference play, Legacy boys basketball had one aim for Thursday night — detour off its rocky road. Instead, the team just kept hitting potholes.

The Lightning fell for the fourth time in the past five outings when it found few answers to Fossil Ridge’s up-tempo, high-scoring attack. The SaberCats dominated the middle two periods, doling Legacy a 69-39 loss and putting the team on a two-game skid for the second time this season.

The loss came as somewhat of a shock to Legacy coach Gunnar Johnson, given how his team kicked off the evening.

“We came out with a lot of energy and hit some shots in that first quarter,” Johnson said. “Then we just couldn’t hit anything.”

Legacy (6-8, 2-5) opened the door for the Fossil Ridge rout when it went ice cold on offense in the second and third periods. The team hit three field goals in the middle 16 minutes of play and had a scoreless streak that lasted nearly 10 mintues.

Reserve guard Eyotam Mengist hit back-to-back shots around the 4-minute mark of the second period, knocking down a jumper and 3-pointer. The Lightning did not score again until Nathaniel Weber came off the bench to go 2 for 2 from the free-throw line with 2:49 left in the third.

“We started to take quick shots,” Mengist said. “Threes after one pass, ill-advised shots and that just allowed them to get into their rhythm, which was just up-and-down play.”

Fossil Ridge (10-4, 5-2) had no problem stroking the 3-pointer Thursday, finishing the night with eight. But behind the arc is where the Lightning’s shakiest play manifested itself. The team’s single-digit showings in the second and third periods — where the team scored seven points in each — was fueled by 4-of-22 shooting from 3-point territory.

“It just snowballed negatively for us,” Mengist said.

Legacy got back into the swing of things in the fourth led by Dalton Royer. The freshman swingman finished the night with a team-high 12 points, collecting seven of them in the final period. But his run came much too late to help his team.

The Lightning came into the game hamstrung with one of its top scorers — Mitch McCall — not suited up due to disciplinary measures.

“That didn’t help us by any means either,” Johnson said.

The coach is concerned about his team’s situation with the loss marking Legacy’s third 30-plus point loss in the Front Range League. If things continue the way they are for Legacy, the team could be dancing a fine line concerning the postseason.

“We have to get a couple of these upcoming games, otherwise it’s going to be tough to make the state tournament,” Johnson said. “I think they are probably going to cut five of the Front Range League teams from the tournament.”

Follow Elwood on Twitter @ElwoodKShelton.


Fossil Ridge 69, Legacy 39

At Legacy HS

FOSSIL RIDGE (10-4, 5-2)

Peter 3 0-0 9, McCoy 3 1-1 8, Bodnar 2 0-0 5, A. Quaid 2 2-4, 6, Smith 5 0-0 13, Nelson 1 4-4 6, Semaden 5 0-0 10, Novak 0 2-2 2, R. Quaid 0 1-2 1, Solomon 0 1-2 1, Dowd 1 0-0 2, Herksteroeter 3 0-0 6. Totals 25 11-15 69.

LEGACY (6-8, 2-5)

Ball 1 0-0 3, Hebel 1 0-0 3, Jacobsen 0 0-2 0, Gibson 1 2-2 4, Baum 1 2-2 4, Mengist 2 0-0 5, Jensen 1 1-2 4, Weber 0 2-2 2, Royer 3 6-7 12, Johnson 0 2-4 2. Totals 10 13-17 39.

Score by quarters:

Fossil Ridge 20 21 17 11 — 69

Legacy 12 7 7 13 — 39

3-point field goals — Fossil Ridge (8): Peter 3, McCoy, Biodnar, Smith 3; Home (4): Ball, Hebel, Mengist, Jensen. Total fouls — Fossil Ridge 19, Legacy 17. Fouled out –Herkstroeter. Technical fouls — none.