BROOMFIELD — Legacy senior Jack Olson would be the first to tell you that the Lightning boys basketball team didn’t play to their full potential Friday night against Fort Collins.

For one thing, the star big man was dealing with flu-like symptoms.

But the young Bolts have come a long way since their 0-6 start to the winter campaign. And led by its ailing senior, they made just enough plays to notch another win in a season that has been revitalized.

Olson scored 19 points and hit two free throws with 4.7 seconds remaining to push the lead to two possessions, and Jackson Stapleton added three 3-pointers and 11 points as Legacy built a big lead in the third quarter before holding off the Lambkins, 57-53.

Olson came off the bench for the Lightning (5-9, 2-1 5A Front Range League) after a whirlwind of a week. He had strep throat on Monday before catching the flu. Then he played in Tuesday’s loss to Poudre and scored 29, before sitting out of practice Wednesday and Thursday.

When he entered with a few minutes gone in the first quarter Friday, his sickness didn’t seem to limit him as he burrowed through the lane to create three 3-point-play opportunities on the night.

“I just tried to stay hydrated and kept pushing through it,” he said with his voice nearly gone.

Fort Collins (3-11, 0-3) rallied back from an 11-point deficit and closed within two twice in the fourth — the final time on Emeri Palacio’s wide-open layup with 8.2 seconds remaining.

Olson was then intentionally fouled before swishing both his free throws to seal the team’s fifth win in eight games.

“Jack shows how good of a player he is every day,” Legacy coach Connor Clay said. “He’s incredible at practice. He’s a great leader. He does so much for us and the guys trust him.”

Trailing 23-22 at half, the Lightning opened the third on a 14-2 run to take control. Olson, averaging nearly 20 points per game coming into the night, had consecutive lay-ins and Stapleton hit two 3s as part of a spurt that pushed the lead to 36-25 with 4:40 left in the quarter.

Back came Fort Collins, though. The Lambkins answered with a strong end to the quarter and pulled within 43-41 early in the final frame thanks to six straight points.

After that, Legacy had leads of seven on two different occasions but still had to hold on in the final seconds.

“I don’t think we would have been able to (hold on) like this early in the season,” Stapleton said. “It just shows we got great guys on this team and we’re resilient.”

He added: “We just survived. Winning is hard. We’ll accept the win and celebrate.”

As for Olson … he’s just ready to get some sleep.

“It’s going to be a good one,” he smiled.

Brent W. New: bwnew@prairiemountainmedia.com and @brentwnew

 

Legacy 57, Fort Collins 53

At Legacy HS

FORT COLLINS (3-11, 0-3)

Veloso 0 1-2 1, Johnson 1 0-0 2, Ogden 6 3-7 17, Humpal 0 0-0 0, Crosby 0 3-3 3, Mendez 0 0-0 0, Bigge 0 0-0 0, Thurgood 2 1-2 5, Yarber 0 0-0 0, Smith 2 1-2 5, Khouri 2 1-4 5, Templeton 0 0-0 0, Palacio 7 1-2 15.

LEGACY (5-9, 2-1)

Converse 0 0-0 0, Poxson 2 0-0 4, Servantez 2 0-0 4, Sehr 2 0-0 5, Borelli 1 0-0 2, Thurson 0 0-0 0, Olson 7 5-7 19, Stapleton 4 0-3 11, Esplin 1 2-2 4, Barrow 2 1-2 6, Huxtable 1 0-1 2.

Score by quarters:

Fort Collins (3-11)          11 12 12 18  — 53

Legacy (5-9)                  10 12 21 14  — 57

3-point field goals — Fort Collins (2): Ogden 2; Legacy (5): Stapleton 3, Sehr, Barrow. Total fouls — Fort Collins 15, Legacy 16. Fouled out — No players fouled out. Technical fouls — No technical fouls.