LONGMONT – It’s difficult to imagine Longmont High School not having a good boys basketball team.
After all, the Trojans have been one of the top-tier programs in Colorado for years. They’re also the defending Class 4A state champions in Colorado, so they also have that obvious title going for them.
But there’s something special about this year’s Longmont Trojans squad that even veteran head coach Jeff Kloster hasn’t seen in a quarter-century of coaching hoops at his alma mater. It’s difficult to quantify or even to nail down, but whatever special thing is driving the 2018-19 Trojans, Kloster is grateful for it.
They’ve navigated the waters of a tough schedule at 13-0 as it stands — that mark going up by one win after a 62-53 win against No. 10-ranked Centaurus at home on Tuesday night.
“It’s a group of young men that we enjoy being in the gym with every day because we know we’re going to get the most out of them,” Kloster said. “They truly enjoy each other. They’re the most unselfish team I’ve had in all the years that I’ve coached. And they really care about each other and they don’t want to let each other down.
“When you have that kind of character and chemistry as individuals, it’s a special team. You just want to enjoy every moment you have with them because they’re just quality people, through and through.”
Tuesday, the No. 2 ranked Trojans (4-0 Northern League) hosted a Warriors (8-5, 3-1 Northern) club that has been skyrocketing and threatened the Trojans’ unbeaten record. The Trojans led 32-20 at halftime but the game was tied at 50-50 in the fourth quarter.
Trojans guard Oakley Dehning hit a 3-pointer to break the stalemate and the Trojans went on a 7-0 run to pull back ahead.
“I knew going in that it was going to be a battle,” Kloster said. “Both teams are quality teams and Centaurus is well-coached. They’ve got some special players in the program and they dictated what they wanted to do in the third quarter. But fortunately for us, our kids didn’t panic. When they tied it up in the fourth quarter, we had great composure and tremendous resolve.”
Owen Koonce scored a game-high 23 points for Centaurus and Nick Vaver hit a trio of 3-pointers that helped keep that game close. Longmont’s Brady Renck and Calvin Seamons each scored 19 points to combine for 38 of the Trojans’ 62 points.
Longmont plays on the road at Mountain View on Friday. Also on Friday, Centaurus will play at Greeley Central.
Longmont 62, Centaurus 53
At Longmont H.S.
CENTAURUS (8-5, 3-1)
Sugianto 2 0-0 4, Quinn 1 0-0 3, Zeke 0 0-0 0, Vaver 4 0-0 11, Koonce 10 2-2 23, Lynch 1 0-0 2, Totel 5 0-0 10. Totals 23 2-2 53.
LONGMONT (13-0, 4-0)
Schneider 1 0-0 2, Renck 5 9-12 19, Elkins 0 0-0 0, Dye 4 0-0 8, Dehning 2 2-2 8, Page 2 0-0 6, Seamons 7 3-5 19. Totals 21 9-14 62.
Score by quarters:
Centaurus 11 9 19 14 — 53
3-point field goals — Centaurus (5): Vaver 3, Koonce, Quinn; Longmont (6): Seamons 2, Page 2, Dehning 2.