LONGMONT — Skyline coach Tyler Cerveny learned a lot about his team on Friday night.
Expectations are high around the Falcons program for the first time in a long while, and just two games into the 2017-18 season, it is easy to understand why.
After giving 5A power Aurora Central all they wanted in the opener, only to come up short, Skyline showed the Falcon faithful a small glimpse of what to expect with a rousing comeback against Northridge.
Down 15 points midway through the third quarter, Skyline — behind Brayden Blick and Austin Robison — rallied to take the lead going to the fourth and held off the Grizzlies 67-62 for win No. 1.
“I got after them a little bit,” said Cerveny, who watched his team go on a 19-2 run over the final 4:56 on the third quarter to completely change the complexion of the game. “I put in the young kids and they sparked up.
“(Freshman) Hayden Robison was fantastic on the ball, (sophomore) Chris Roy handled the ball really well, but my two really great players carried us in the second half.”
The Falcons slowly started to gain momentum after a lackadaisical opening three minutes of the third quarter, in which they scored only two points and fell behind the Grizzlies 46-31.
Blick, who was held to 11 points in the first half, found his range and hit the first of his four second half three-pointers that seemed to spark not only his teammates but the crowd, which to that point didn’t have much to cheer about.
Back-to-back and-one calls for Blick and Austin Robison further ignited the run and in a span of two minutes, 56 seconds, Northridge’s 15 point lead was reduced to two at 48-46.
“(Braden’s) a shooter and he has played for me for three years and he’s got the green light, he’s earned it,” Cerveny said. “It was important, after we got down as much as we did, to find a way to regroup and get this going in the right direction.”
Blick scored 23 second half points on his way to 34 total. And when the Grizzlies finally decided to put a defender square in is face, the Falcons ball movement found Robison — who scored eight of his 21 points down the stretch in the fourth quarter.
“In the NBA, LeBron James gets the most shots, Steph Curry does for his team and Brayden Blick does for us; your best players get the most shots,” Cerveny said. “And we are going to try and get him the most looks.”
SKYLINE 67, NORTHRIDGE 62
Joe Lombardelli 0 2-5 2, Chris Decker 1 1-2 4, Bryan Decker 2 1-4 7, Trey Vasquez 5 0-0 11, Andrew Vigil 3 9-11 15, K.P. Werner 6 0-0 13, Adrian Costilla-Ibarra 1 0-0 2, Daniel Medina 2 3-5 8, James Harmance 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 16-27 62.
Connor Smith 2 0-0 4, Ben Lopez 1 0-0 2, Camilo Martinez 0 0-0 0, Brayden Blick 10 9-14 34, Parker Monticello 0 0-0 0, Nate McGregoir 0 6-10 6, Gage Robertson 0 0-0 0, Hayden Robison 0 0-0 0, Austin Robison 9 2-6 21, Chris Roy 0 0-1 0. Totals 22 17-31 67.
Score by quarters:
3-point field goals — Northridge: B. Decker 2, C. Decker, Vasquez, Werner, Medina; Skyline: Blick 5, A. Robison. Total fouls — Northridge 23, Skyline 24. Fouled out — Vigil; H. Robison. .