Boys basketball: Dawson School dealt harsh lesson by Colorado Academy

LAFAYETTE — After beginning the season with five consecutive victories, the Dawson School boys basketball team knew the ante would be raised Thursday night.

Was it ever.

The Mustangs, ranked No. 9 in Class 2A in the AP Media poll, welcomed 3A No. 2 Colorado Academy to their gym a non-league showdown. The visitors were merciless in handling Dawson 81-45.

Colorado Academy (7-0) was particularly dominant at the outset in jumping to leads of 10-0 and 14-2. As much as Dawson tried to treat it like just another game, players admitted there were some butterflies.

“Absolutely,” said senior guard Cam Connor, who led Dawson with 16 points. “I was excited — nervous-excited — for the game. It’s awesome to play against great talent, and that’s the only way you’re going to get better.”

Colorado Academy’s hyper-athletic sophomore Justin Bassey put Dawson (5-1) behind the 8-ball early by scoring the first seven points, the last two on a ferocious dunk. By the time Dawson’s Noah Lorentzen nailed a perimeter jumper to get the Mustangs on the scoreboard, CA was already rolling.

Bassey scored 18 before fouling out in the fourth, but was outscored by CA teammates Jack Buckmelter (20) and Chris Kuelling (19).

“This is the type of competition we need to improve,” Dawson coach Jeff Youngstrom said. “These guys have said it, we want to play against the best.”

After falling behind 37-15 at the break, Dawson matched Colorado Academy 17-17 in the third quarter, when Connor and co-starters Chris Slade and Zach Dupont started to find their groove.

“We did settle in a little bit,” Youngstrom said. “We played well in the third quarter and we just need to play that well the whole time. Our guys are still learning not to get too amped up for a big game, or to come out rocky or nervous.”

The contest got a bit chippy in the final quarter, as an abundance of fouls jilted the previously flowing pace. A few hard fouls, a few delays for blood on players’ uniforms and a technical on Youngstrom comprised the back end of the night.

CA’s Buckmelter had been whistled for a technical in the first half.

Overall for Dawson, it was a humbling experience but not one they considered fruitless.

“We’re going to take a lot from this game,” Connor said. “It’s probably the best team we’re going to play all year and we’re going to have to learn from our mistakes.”

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Colorado Academy 81, Dawson School 45

At Dawson School

COLORADO ACADEMY (7-0)

Buckmelter 8 4-6 20, Hyatt 5 6-8 19, Parker 0 0-2 0, Bassey 8 1-2 18, Pratt 3 0-0 6, Chang 1 0-0 3, Kuelling 5 2-2 14, Creedon 0 1-2 1. Totals 30 14-22 81.

DAWSON SCHOOL (5-1)

Connor 4 6-7 16, Slade 2 0-0 4, Morley 1 4-4 6, Dupont 4 0-0 8, Lorentzen 2 2-6 6, Fulkerson 0 0-0 0, Gansar 1 2-3 4, Walden 0 0-0 0, MacDougall 0 1-2 1, O’Grady 0 0-0 0, Bacher 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 15-22 45.

Score by quarters:

Colorado Academy 20 17 17 27 — 81

Dawson School 6 9 17 13 — 45

3-point field goals — Colorado Academy (7): Hyatt 3, Kueliling 2, Bassey, Chang; Dawson School (2): Connor 2. Total fouls — Colorado Academy 21, Dawson School 20. Fouled out — Bassey, Connor. Technical fouls — Buckmelter, Dawson coach Youngstrom.