Brad Cochi / BoCoPreps.com
Brad Cochi / BoCoPreps.com
LOUISVILLE — The Broomfield boys basketball team took some extra time at Wednesday’s practice to push the reset button and refocus as a team on the Eagles’ goals.
In the three contests prior to a tough road game against Monarch on Friday night, the Eagles had been trounced by Rangeview, lost by two points in overtime to Fairview and lost a close game to Front Range League frontrunner Fossil Ridge. Spending that extra time to reconnect with one another may have been a critical move that prepared the Eagles for a back-and-forth game with Monarch that they eventually won, 74-62, to halt that losing streak at three games.
“We were coming off a three-game losing streak so coming out and playing for each other was the main point of tonight’s game,” Eagles senior Devin Martinez said. “We had a great week of practice and we did it for each other. We were prepared for a close game and I think the end of the game really showed that.”
After trailing nearly the entire first half, the Eagles (10-7, 3-3 Front Range) pulled ahead of the Coyotes (7-10, 3-3 Front Range) for a short while in the third quarter but trailed by two to start the fourth. Eagles junior Steven Croell hit a pair of three throws to put the Eagles up one with 7 minutes, 30 seconds left in the game. But, Jack Ramsey converted a basket and a foul shot at the other end to put the Coyotes back up 23 seconds later. Broomfield’s Justin Berry tied the game 48-48 with a put-back score on the Eagles’ next possession and Martinez went 1 for 2 at the free-throw line to reclaim the lead for the Eagles with 5:30 left.
At the end of what turned out to be a 9-0 run, the Eagles led 55-48 and had the cushion they needed to finish out a 31-point fourth quarter and win the latest game in the conference rivalry series after last year’s game was decided by just five points. Martinez and Croell tied for the team lead with 15 points apiece.
“We knew it was going to be a battle,” Eagles head coach Terrence Dunn said. “They’ve been playing well, we’ve been struggling. They can score a lot of points and we knew we were going to have to play defense tonight so we just kept battling. The kids did a great job of coming out in the third quarter and grabbed that lead. Monarch came back and our guys were tough enough mentally tonight to get the lead back and keep it.”
Monarch senior Keegan Johnson, who averaged 13.6 points through the Coyotes’ first 16 games, did not play in the first half and left the game again after injuring his arm while making an athletic defensive play in the fourth quarter. Though he averaged just over five points through the team’s first 16 games, junior Nate Pontejos led the Coyotes with a season-high 19 on Friday.
Broomfield will continue conference play on Tuesday when the Eagles, who had four players score in double figures on Friday, host Loveland. Monarch won’t play again until Thursday when the Coyotes travel to face Boulder.
Brad Cochi: firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/BradCochi
Broomfield 74, Monarch 62
At Monarch H.S.
BROOMFIELD (10-7, 3-3)
Berry 4 0-0 8, Felknor 0 1-2 1, Collins 1 2-2 4, Swanson 4 2-2 11, Croell 3 9-12 15, Georgiton 3 6-8 12, Garner 2 4-4 8, Martinez 7 1-2 15. Totals 24 25-32 74.
MONARCH (7-10, 3-3)
Jones 4 2-4 12, Alexander 2 0-2 4, Storm 0 0-0 0, Schmanski 1 0-0 3, Convington 1 0-0 2, Pontejos 7 2-2 19, Trinh 2 0-0 5, Ramsey 1 4-5 6, Chen 4 0-3 9, Johnson 1 0-0 2. Totals 23 8-16 62.
Score by quarters:
3-point field goals — Broomfield (1): Swanson; Monarch (8): Pontejos 3, Jones 2, Chen, Trinh, Schmanski. Total fouls — Broomfield 13, Monarch 28. Fouled out — Jones, Alexander.