AULT — The Longmont Christian Warriors will look back at this week in the short term and think they let a few get away.
But if they play their cards right, they’ll understand that while an overtime loss earlier in the week to Union Colony was tough to swallow and Friday night’s 70-60 setback to Highland didn’t kill their momentum; it will ultimately make them stronger come postseason time.
“We’ve got some young kids that are starting to come through,” said Warriors coach Myron Huey, whose No. 6 ranked team in Class 1A fell to 7-3. “Tough calls happen in basketball, that’s just the way it is, but we don’t play dirty, we play hard and that is what you are supposed to do.”
There were several occasions on Friday night when the Warriors could have just folded up the tents and headed back home, accepting defeat.
But after surrendering 32 point to the Huskies (6-3) in the second quarter to go to the break down 42-30, Longmont Christian came out and scored the first 11 points of the third quarter to cut the lead to 42-41.
“It shows a lot of fight and we brought a lot of guys off the bench because of foul trouble,” said sophomore Dominic Puchino, who was one of three Warriors that were tagged with four fouls going to the fourth quarter. “We don’t give up no matter what the score is and how much time is left on the clock.”
The Huskies didn’t score until the 3:41 mark of the third quarter, but it ignited their offense and they went to the fourth with that same 12 point cushion, 58-46.
Despite the foul trouble, Longmont Christian started the fourth much the same way they did the third. A quick 10-2 burst had them back to within 60-56; but a technical foul on the bench and the fifth foul on Michael Voigt, who led the Warriors with 21 points, quickly shifted the momentum back to the Huskies.
“This is a tough place to play and they play to it … and this was our third road game this week,” Huey said. “I’ve got to give them credit and I thought their No. 1 (Tate Bessire, who scored a game-high 27 points) was great.
“A couple little things here and there and this game is completely different.”
Timmy Eldred finished with 10 points for the Warriors and Nick Holst had nine. Puchino was held to just six points.
Longmont Christian will try to get back to the winning way on Tuesday at Denver Academy on Tuesday and then Thursday at home (they play their home games in Windsor) against Nederland.
HIGHLAND 70, LONGMONT CHRISTIAN 60
LONGMONT CHRISTIAN (7-3, 2-2)
Puchino 2 2-2 4, Shellenberger 1 5-7 8, K. Saunders 0 0-0 0, L. Saunders 3 0-0 6, Azar 0 0-0 0, Holst 4 1-1 9, Voigt 9 2-5 21, Eldred 3 4-8 10. Totals 22 14-23 60.
HIGHLAND (6-3, 3-0)
Allmon 7 3-5 19, T. Bessire 6 12-16 27, Jackson 0 0-0 0, J. Bessire 1 1-2 4, Anderson 4 1-4 10, Morgan 0 5-6 5, Stewart 0 1-3 1, Brug 0 0-0 0, Smith 0 1-2 1, Z. Marsh 0 0-0 0, T. Marsh 1 1-2 3. Totals 19 25-40 70.
Score by quarters:
3-point field goals — Longmont Christian (2): Shellenberger, Voigt; Highland (7): T. Bessire 3, Allmon 2, J. Bessire, Anderson. Total fouls — Longmont Christian 29, Highland 22. Fouled out — Puchino, Voigt, Eldred; Anderson. Technical fouls — Puchino, Longmont Christian bench.