Boys basketball: Boulder rediscovers shooting touch to top Loveland

Paul Aiken / Daily Camera
Senior Garrett Turner scored 17 points to lead Boulder to its first Front Range League victory Friday night against Loveland.


BOULDER — After they couldn’t buy a basket in their 5A Front Range League opener, the Boulder High boys basketball players were happy to put that disappointing start to their conference season behind them.

On Friday night, the Panthers got their shooting strokes back.

Hosting the Loveland Indians, the Panthers shot 52.6 percent (20 for 38) from the field to beat the Indians 67-54 and pick up their first conference victory.

“We came out and had one of the most brutal games of my coaching career against For Collins on Tuesday,” Panthers head coach Eric Eisenhard said. “This was a step in the right direction to get us back on track. We shared the ball a little bit better, rebounded a little bit better, the team defense was better, guys fought a little bit harder and we worked through peaks and valleys throughout the game.”

In a Front Range-opening loss to Fort Collins on Tuesday, the Panthers shot just 32.5 percent (13 for 40) from the field. In that defeat, Boulder scored zero points in the second quarter.

Against the Indians, who are allowing 61.1 points per game, the Panthers hit four of their first six shots and led 14-4 by the end of the first quarter. They led 23-18 at halftime.

While holding Loveland (7-7, 0-3 Front Range) scoreless for the first 4 minutes, 20 seconds of the second half, Boulder (9-4, 1-1 Front Range) quickly pushed its lead to 15 points with five consecutive made baskets. In the third quarter, the Panthers made eight of 10 attempts from the field and led 43-29 to start the fourth.

Loveland turned the ball over five more times than Boulder, and the Panthers shot 22 for 32 at the free-throw line while in the bonus for the entire fourth quarter.

“We finally started playing our ball,” Panthers senior guard Garrett Turner said. “At Fort Collins, we were forcing up shots and all our guys weren’t playing as a team. Today we were driving for open passes and giving up good shots for great shots and it showed with that eight for 10 in the third quarter.”

Turner (13.9 ppg) led the Panthers with 17 points and Panthers scoring leader Landon Taliaferro (13.64 ppg) scored 11. At the defensive end, the Panthers held Loveland leading scorers Hunter Wylie (12.25 ppg) and Zach Jones (10.67 ppg) to 18 combined points.

The Panthers have now won eight of their last 10 games. They will be back in action when they host Poudre (1-11, 0-1 Front Range) on Tuesday. Boulder defeated Poudre 78-51 on Jan. 8.

“It’s harder to beat a team twice than it is to beat them once,” Eisenhard said. “We bet them once so they’ll be ready for what we do and probably have some counter-scheme things to do against us. We played well in that game so it’s going to be difficult to match our performance. But the bottom line is we need to take another step forward.”

Follow Brad on Twitter:

Boulder 67, Loveland 54

At Boulder H.S.

LOVELAND (7-7, 0-3)

Hunter Wylie 5 2-3 16, Jonathan Schlecht 2 0-1 4, Gavin Gleason 0 0-0 0, Ayden Eberhardt 3 2-4 11, Ben Newton 3 0-0 9, John Nyenhuis 0 0-0 0, Zach Jones 0 2-2 2, Trent Nye 2 0-1 4, Jacob Weinmaster 3 2-3 8, David Schlecht 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 8-14 54.

BOULDER (9-4, 1-1)

Garrett Turner 3 9-10 17, Brendan Kelly 0 1-2 1, Landon Taliaferro 5 0-0 11, Grant Lurie 0 1-2 1, Jack Boyle 1 0-0 2, Savoy Carl 2 2-2 7, Garrett Johnson 0 3-6 3, Morgan Hohlfelder 2 0-2 4, Bill DiScipio 1 2-2 4, Tommy Baumgartner 2 0-0 5, Liam Kelly 1 4-6 6, Leif Blessing 2 2-2 6. Totals 19 24-34 67.

Score by quarters:

Loveland 4 14 11 25 — 54
Boulder 14 9 20 24 — 67

3-point field goals — Loveland (10): Wylie 4, Newton 3, Eberhardt 3; Boulder (5): Turner 2, Carl, Taliaferro, Baumgartner. Total fouls — Loveland 29, Boulder 15. Fouled out — Wylie.