Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer
Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer
LONGMONT — For the most part, Friday night was a true basketball aficionado’s delight at Mead as the Mavericks hosted the Erie Tigers.
Chucking up shot after shot was just not something either team had in mind to do in Mead’s 80-75 home victory that represented one of the more torrid scoring affairs of the early season.
In fact, both teams provided an entertaining game with their relentless pursuit of the paint, much more true to how each team thinks they can attack consistently as they navigate through the Tri-Valley League.
This round went to MHS largely because of the separation it was able to create in the third quarter, after the teams battled to a 40-39 score at the half.
Jax Wilke led the way with seven of his 22 points coming in the frame, and David Wilhelm and a few others contributed to a decisive 8 minutes that brought Mead a lead which Erie fell just short of overcoming.
Up as much as 15 in the fourth, Mead (6-4, 2-0 Tri-Valley League) had a few turnovers that will make any coach cringe, and to Erie’s credit the deficit dwindled to just five points at 78-73 with 46 seconds left in the game. The Tigers couldn’t get any closer than that, however, falling to 4-5 on the season with an 0-2 league mark.
“Going in we knew Erie could drive the ball really well and get in the paint and finish, and they gave us problems there,” Mead head coach Darin Reese said after his team saw five different players hit double figure scoring. “For our end of things, I credit our guys for recognizing where our advantage was and just use it as much as we can.
“We haven’t had too many of these kinds of games, so I think our guys will take a lot from it and learn from it.”
Wilke was a thorn in the side of the Tigers collectively, and his scoring balance through all four quarters was met with his teammate’s periodical efforts. In the second quarter, it was Will Maher (12 points) spotting up a couple of open 3-pointers — a rarity for the night, to be true.
In the fourth quarter, Derek Edwards (11 points) put together back-to-back drives with tough finishes to help keep Mead ahead. Nick Jacobs and Wilhelm also finished with 10 points apiece, most coming in the second half.
The Mavericks needed every single one of those points, because all the while, Erie was pursuing strong as a unit. Jadon Lucero and Luke Loy were the ringleaders, and it was Lucero whose putback after a Jordan Nguyen and-1 free throw miss made it a five-point game with less than a minute left.
Loy led the way for Erie with 21 points and Lucero added 15 for Erie.
“Those games can be a little stressful, but they are fun at the same time,” Wilke said. “Everybody on our team can score when the chance is there, and it was good that we were able to distribute the ball well tonight.”
“You seek balance, and we had some guys step up and that’s exciting going forward.” Reese said. “We’ve got some young guards in there and are learning every game, and we got a couple defensive stops just when we needed it.”
Mead 80, Erie 75
At Mead HS
ERIE (4-5, 0-2)
Larson 0 0-1 0, Tyson 4 1-2 10, Nguyen 2 4-6 8, Meier 0 0-0 0, D. Lucero 0 0-0 0, L. Loy 8 4-4 21, Farineau 6 1-2 13, J. Lucero 6 2-3 15, K. Loy 0 0-0 0, Mathis 2 1-2 6, Yopp 0 2-2 2.
MEAD (6-4, 2-0)
Ayers 1 0-0 3, N. Jacobs 4 2-4 10, Maher 4 2-6 12, Wilhelm 3 4-5 10, Ward 0 3-4 3, Lee 4 1-2 9, Edwards 5 1-4 11, Wilke 8 6-8 22, K. Jacobs 0 0-0 0. Totals 29 19-33 80.
Score by quarters:
3-point field goals — Erie (4): Tyson, L. Loy, J. Lucero, Mathis; Mead (3): Maher 2, Ayers. Fouled out — Nguyen.