LONGMONT — Longmont boys basketball head coach Jeff Kloster said the second quarter at Mead on Saturday was the first since he took over in 1994 during which the Trojans didn’t score a single point.
He wasn’t too pleased in the moment, but after he saw how his young team came back in the second half to win 49-40, the scoreless frame didn’t seem so bad.
“We know at times it’s going to be a roller coaster,” Kloster said. “But I’m really proud of the fact that they came out with tremendous intensity in the first quarter. We got to an early lead. Basketball is a game of runs and they had theirs in the second quarter. But the kids showed composure, we were patient and we got the ball to people who we thought were advantageous because they may have had a mismatch.”
Looking to spread the Mavericks out and attack the basket, Trojans junior Austin Kemp factored heavily into the Trojans’ offense on Saturday. He found his way to the rim for a game-high 21 points for the Trojans, who went 0 for 8 on 3-pointers.
Kemp said beating the Mavericks moved the Trojans one step closer to their goal of being city champions.
“I was just attacking the hoop and that 15-footer was working,” Kemp said. “We were missing all our shots in that second quarter but our coaches told us to keep attacking. We spread them out in the second half and got the ball to Marcus (Johnson) in the second half and that worked out well for us.”
Johnson said he played the worst game of his life in an all-around disappointing 56-38 loss at home to Thompson Valley the night before. But he took over the painted area in the second half on Saturday and finished with 14 points.
The Trojans have won four of their last five games. After losing the way they did to Thompson Valley, Johnson said the Trojans were proud of the hot start they put together Saturday that led to them opening the game with a 13-0 lead.
“We got beat pretty bad last night against Thompson Valley and I just played awful,” Johnson said. “But we really picked up the intensity and came together as a team.”
Defensively, the Trojans made things difficult for Mavericks’ offensive threats Ryan Lozinski and Aaron Cheung, either of whom is capable of scoring 20 points. Lozinski finished with 14 and Cheung with 10, but both had to work hard for every point.
Kloster also pointed to the Trojans’ 12 offensive rebounds that led to extra possessions and put-back baskets as a key to their success.
The Mavericks have lost three straight games. Senior guard Taylor Desch said the Mavericks, who trailed by just three points at halftime, hurt themselves by not starting the game with enough intensity.
“They got off to a really quick start. We didn’t come out with enough fire and they did,” Desch said. “We just haven’t come out the way we have been in the first four or five games in the conference.”
The Trojans will play at Silver Creek (9-6, 3-3) on Tuesday. Also Tuesday, the Mavericks will host Skyline (5-9, 2-5).
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Longmont 49, Mead 40
At Mead HS
LONGMONT (10-4, 3-3)
Alaniz 0 1-2 1, Sterkle 1 1-2 3, Jessup 3 0-0 6, Donaldson 0 1-2 1, Kemp 9 3-3 21, Sullivan 0 1-2 1, Mitchell 1 0-0 2, Johnson 7 0-0 14, Wilkey 0 0-2 0. Totals 21 7-11 49.
MEAD (9-7, 4-3)
Cheung 2 4-4 10, Desch 1 0-0 3, Lozinski 7 0-1 14, Perez 2 0-0 4, Korell 2 0-0 4, Lamb 0 2-3 2, Beaver 1 0-0 3, Nelson 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 6-8 40.
Score by quarters:
Longmont 16 0 15 18 — 49
Mead 4 9 9 18 — 40
3-point field goals — Longmont (0): None; Mead (4): Cheung 2, Beaver, Desch. Total fouls — Longmont 12, Mead 11. Fouled out — None. Technical fouls — None.