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Boys basketball: Lyons falls short against 3A Frontier Academy

  • Logan Farner of Lyons sinks a shot in front of...

    Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Logan Farner of Lyons sinks a shot in front of Hollis Fitzgerald during a game against Frontier Academy on Friday in Lyons. Go to for more photos.

  • Joe McCain of Lyons sinks a 3-pointer during Friday's game...

    Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Joe McCain of Lyons sinks a 3-pointer during Friday's game with Frontier Academy. Go to for more photos.

  • Lyons High School coach Jahmiel McLawrence talks with his team...

    Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Lyons High School coach Jahmiel McLawrence talks with his team during a game against Frontier Academy on Friday in Lyons.



LYONS — If there was anything that the Lyons boys basketball team has shown over the past two nights, it’s that they are proving to be receptive of everything first-year head coach Jahmiel McLawrence is throwing their way.

Now, for the junior-heavy Lions, it’s about putting it together all at the right time against quality opponents.

For the second night in a row, Lyons faced a quality opponent on Friday — the Class 3A Patriot League’s Frontier Academy and senior Zach Hidalgo. And for the second night in a row, the Lions could not hold onto a substantial lead in the game.

Hidalgo scored 29 points to boost his season scoring average (24.9 per game) ever so slightly, but it was the difference in rebounding and the ability to hit free throws down the stretch that carried the Wolverines to a 67-57 win at the Lyons gym.

Lyons (5-9 overall) held a 41-27 lead at halftime, this coming after holding a similar large lead against Denver Christian on Thursday before losing by just two points at 55-53.

“We’re a really guard-heavy team, and once we put four quarters together I think we’re going to be really good,” said junior Colton Jonjak, who finished with 12 points to go along with five rebounds in the game. “We just need to play like we did in the first and second quarter the whole game, and we’ll be unstoppable I feel. There’s a lot of skill, and working as a team is going to help us shine.”

“It’s a learning curve that comes with a young team, and we had some silly turnovers late and just weren’t able to close the game out,” said McLawrence, whose team plays at Twin Peaks Charter Academy on Tuesday. “As a young team, I see we’re growing, it’s just not as fast as we need to be right now. Districts are coming up, and hopefully we can get things right to be able to have a five-point lead in the second half and be able to pull that win out.”

The Lions put the Wolverines on their heels early, and even though Hidalgo powered his way to 16 first-half points it was shutting down everyone else on the floor and fighting on the glass that helped Lyons out to a huge advantage.

Logan Farner came off the bench to hit four 3-pointers in the first half, and the energy was abundant despite the tough loss the night before.

However, the combination of being out rebounded 14-7 in the third quarter and a 1-for-13 field goal shooting span out of the break doomed LHS. Lyons led 45-36 with 4:40 to go in the quarter, but Frontier Academy (7-6) scored the final seven points of that frame and took the lead at 46-45 just 11 seconds into the fourth on a Hidalgo 3-pointer.

With 6:31 to go, freshman Aiden Christiansen popped two free throws to regain a 49-48 lead for Lyons, but the team failed to score again until the 2:26 mark when a Tristan Chavez basket-and-foul made it 55-52.

It was pretty much all free throws for Frontier Academy the rest of the way, and the Wolverines were able to close things out by making 13 of 16 free throws in the fourth quarter overall.

Frontier’s Lukas Bowles was able to avoid fouling out and finished with 14 points — half of those in the fourth — and Collin Channell also hit four key free throws as part of his nine points.

Frontier Academy had 22 rebounds to Lyons’s nine in the second half.

“We have conditioned really well … but I felt like in the third quarter guy’s legs started leaving them, and we saw that (Thursday) as well as today,” McLawrence said. “They were outworked and out-hustled a bit right there. We sent them to the line a lot, and that’s just something teams have been able to do against us because we are aggressive.”

Adam Dunivan: or

Frontier Academy 67, Lyons 57

At Lyons HS


Channell 1 7-10 9, Fitzgerald 1 2-2 5, Bowles 3 7-8 14, Hidalgo 12 2-5 29, Noffsinger 0 0-0 0, Hayward 0 2-2 2, Hernandez 0 0-0 0, Pike 3 2-3 8. Totals 20 22-30 67.

LYONS (5-9)

Chavez 2 3-3 7, Jonjak 5 2-3 12, McCain 4 0-0 10, Reeves 1 2-4 5, Theriault 0 2-2 2, Farner 4 0-0 12, Christiansen 0 2-2 2, Geist 0 0-1 0, Basey 3 1-1 7. Totals 19 12-16 57.

Score by quarters:

Frontier Academy14131624—67


3-point field goals — Frontier Academy (5): Hidalgo 3, Fitzgerald, Bowles; Lyons (7): Farner 4, McCain 2, Reeves. Fouled out — Noffsinger, Farner.