• Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Mead's Will Maher takes a shot from long range during the Mavericks' Tri-Valley League basketball game against Skyline on Tuesday night at Skyline. Mead hit 13 3-pointers in the game to help the cause in a 71-51 win. Visit BoCoPreps.com for more photos.

  • Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Skyline's Chris Roy looks toward the rim while Mead's Trey Ward defends during Tuesday night's game at Skyline.

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LONGMONT — The Mead and Skyline boys basketball teams are playing through their Tri-Valley League schedules in essentially the same order.

In their previous games prior to meeting up on the court Tuesday night, both the Skyline and Mead boys basketball teams had defeated Tri-Valley League rival Windsor to open 2019. The teams’ conference-opening victories were both close but also very different in nature.

Mead, a squad that averaged just over 70 points and had five players scoring in double figures through its first nine games, beat Windsor in a 76-70 shootout. A much lower scoring team but a team that allowed an average under 49 points against before Tuesday, Skyline put the clamps on to win 38-33 over the same Wizards two days earlier.

When Skyline’s defense and Mead’s offense clashed at Skyline on Tuesday night, the game was close for one half of play but Mead eventually overwhelmed Skyline. The Mavericks made 13 total 3-pointers on their way to a 71-51 victory.

“They’re cross-town rivals and every game against them is loud for us,” Mead senior Caleb Ayers said. “To beat them is big because they’re just that big of an opponent to us. We knew they were probably going to play the zone and they did, and we just played how we play. We got it to our shooters and when we started hitting, we kept hitting.”

The Mavericks felt like Tuesday’s win was yet another sign that they’re back on the right track after a rough patch to start the season.

Falling out of the CHSAANow.com rankings after opening the season as the No. 6 team in Class 4A, the Mavericks (7-3, 3-0) lost three games before the winter break including a tough loss to No. 2-ranked and defending 4A state champion Longmont in which Mead led by 10 points at halftime. Since losing by five points to Evergreen at the Paul Davis Classic, the Mead boys have won six in a row.

“We’re progressively getting better and we’re growing together as a team,” Mavericks head coach Darin Reese said. “We had a tough stretch in there when we were kind of sick, kind of hurt and we’re still down a starter in David Wilhelm. He’ll be back in a couple weeks and the more we can get out on the court and play together, the better we’ll continue to improve.”

State qualifiers in back-to-back seasons, the Falcons (4-5, 1-1) are looking to return to the postseason for a third straight year despite having a young team. On Tuesday, they picked up their first conference loss and fell below the .500 mark in what has been an up-and-down season so far.

The Falcons trailed nearly the entire game, but never by much until the Mavericks used a 22-13 third quarter to turn a six-point halftime advantage into a 57-42 lead to start the fourth quarter.

Skyline will travel to face a much-improved Frederick team on Thursday. Mead will host that same Frederick team on Saturday.

Brad Cochi: cochib@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BradCochi

Mead 71, Skyline 51

At Skyline H.S.

MEAD (7-3, 3-0)

N. Jacobs 5 0-0 12, Maher 5 0-0 14, Ward 2 2-2 8, Ayers 5 2-2 17, Wilke 5 0-1 10, Bartholomew 3 0-2 6, McGill 1 0-0 2, KJ Jacobs 1 0-0 2. Totals 27 4-7 71.

SKYLINE (4-5, 1-1)

McKrola 0 0-0 0, Roy 0 0-1 0, Robertson 8 2-3 19, H. Robison 2 0-0 5, A. Robison 8 2-3 21, Silva 1 0-0 2, Campian 0 0-0 0, McGregor 1 4-5 6. Totals 20 8-12 51.

Score by quarters:

Mead            17 18 22 14  — 71

Skyline        15 14 13 9  — 51

3-point field goals — Mead (13): Ayers 5, Maher 4, Ward 2, N. Jacobs 2; Skyline (5): A. Robison 3, Robertson, H. Robison. Total fouls — Mead 16, Skyline 12. Technical fouls — H. Robison.