Boys basketball: Faith Christian too big, too fast for Peak to Peak

ARVADA — Cos Braswell is still holding out hope.

The senior Peak to Peak guard saw early on against Faith Christian that the Pumas could still play really good stretches of basketball. Now, for at least one more game, they are looking to lengthen those positive runs.

Faith Christian, ranked No. 3 in the latest AP Colorado prep hoops poll for Class 3A, was too fast and too big for the Pumas to handle over the course of 32 minutes on Wednesday night. The Eagles showed no mercy in a 78-39 win at Faith Christian.

But for a team now 3-14 and still winless in the Metro League, it’s time to hold on to anything positive. Early on, the Pumas were able to break Faith’s full-court pressure defense, and after getting down by double-digits just minutes into the contest, the Pumas fought back to make it 17-13.

For a few minutes, it appeared like the team that upset Faith in districts last year had emerged once again.

However, the Pumas could not handcuff 6-foot-5 junior post Grant Harkness, who finished with 25 points and helped get the game back in control for Faith before the first quarter was over.

“We got at them last year, but they were ready for revenge,” Braswell said. “Our game plan tonight was to clog up the middle, but with their size there wasn’t much we could do.”

Faith Christian (13-5, 6-2) had four starters score in double-digits. In addition to Harkness getting going early, shooting guard Spencer Bazz also found some open looks on his way to 16 points.

Braswell was the Pumas’ leading man with nine points, but seven of those came early on as Peak to Peak collectively struggled to find the hoop in the middle two stanzas.

It was their seventh loss in a row, and in the gauntlet that is the Metro League, the Pumas just haven’t measured up.

“Faith was just bigger, stronger, faster than we were,” head coach Tony Peters said. “This season, it seems that once we started losing the desire to keep going has kind of left us. It’s hard, when you start losing like this … at times we’ve looked really good, but other times we just haven’t put together 32 minutes of hard basketball.

“That’s the key right now, playing a full 32.”

Peters liked how the younger players finished up the contest, and that gives him hope for the future. The Pumas have some younger players at lower levels, Peters said, that will make an instant impact.

For now, the focus is finishing out the season on a high note. The Pumas will finish the regular slate at Manual on Feb. 20 before district play, and Braswell said they have that upset mentality already brewing.

“We’re just looking forward to (districts) and hoping to upset another team like we did last year,” Braswell said. “I think we took a step back tonight, but we have one more game against Manual to get back on track.”

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Faith Christian 78, Peak to Peak 39

At Faith Christian Academy

PEAK TO PEAK (3-14, 0-7)

Nick Kelly 1 0-0 3, Jonathan Dee 2 0-0 6, Cos Braswell 4 1-2 9, Andrew Peterson 2 1-2 7, David Griffith 1 0-0 2, Taylor Jackson 1 0-0 2, Daniel Griffith 3 0-0 6, Mitchell Ward 2 0-0 4. Totals 16 2-6 39.

FAITH CHRISTIAN (13-5, 6-2)

S. Bazz 5 4-7 16, C. Bazz 4 0-0 11, Yeager 1 0-0 2, Schreiner 0 1-2 1, Hawkins 1 0-0 2, Hegarty 4 3-7 12, Sanders 1 1-2 3, Harkness 12 1-2 25, Balmer 1 0-0 2, Hardcastle 0 1-2 1, Rodrighiero 1 1-2 3. Totals 30 12-24 78.

Score by quarters:

Peak to Peak 13 7 8 11 — 39

Faith Christian 24 18 19 17 — 78

3-point field goals — Peak to Peak (5): Kelly, Dee 2, Peterson 2; Faith Christian (6): S. Bazz 2, C. Bazz 3, Hegarty.