Brad Cochi/ BoCoPreps.com
Brad Cochi/ BoCoPreps.com
LONGMONT — Whenever the Skyline boys basketball team has needed a lift this season, usually in the form of a timely bucket, it has more often than not come from junior guard Gage Robertson.
Robertson currently leads the Falcons in scoring with a 16.4-point average, and has accounted for a full one-third of his team’s points through 16 games. With Windsor visiting on Saturday night for a critical Tri-Valley League rematch to kick off the Falcons’ second trip through the home-and-away conference schedule, Robertson exploded for a game-high 23 points to pace a 45-41 home victory.
This type of performance from Robertson is quickly becoming par for the course and has kept the Falcons on track through good and bad times this winter.
Scoring more than twice what he did last season and coming through for the Falcons in one critical moment after another so far in 2018-19, Robertson chalks his new-found, go-to guy persona to good old fashioned experience.
“I’ve just come out with a lot of confidence and that’s been the biggest difference,” Robertson said. “I played for Colorado Anarchy over the summer and going up against really good players just made me a lot tougher. It was a little bit of a slow start for our football guys after they were in the state championship game but I’ve just tried to keep us in it.”
In a high-energy game between two of the nearest teams chasing No. 10-ranked Mead (13-3, 9-0) and No. 3 Holy Family (13-3, 8-1) in the Tri-Valley League standings, both Skyline (10-6, 7-2) and Windsor (8-8, 5-4) struggled to develop any offensive rhythm early. The teams were tied four times in the first half, including a 13-13 stalemate at halftime.
With 6-foot-6 junior Austin Robison (14.3 ppg) in foul trouble early, Robertson scored 11 of the Falcons’ 13 points in the first half. Windsor cut the Skyline lead to 34-33 with 4 minutes, 22 seconds left in the fourth quarter. But spurred by a pair of 3-pointers — one made by Robertson — and 12 second-half points from Robison, the Falcons were able to hold on for their 10th win of the winter.
Having qualified for the playoffs in each of the past two seasons, the Falcons’ baseline goal for the current campaign is to make it three in a row. Saturday’s triumph, and a 38-33 win over the Wizards in the teams’ first meeting on Jan. 3, felt to the Falcons like a barometer of where they stand as a club.
“Gage kept us in it early and then the big fella played a really nice second half,” Falcons head coach Tyler Cerveny said. “We’re not always pretty but our guys grind, and they’re tough, and they’re learning how to win. This season is the first time in school history we’ve ever beat them, let alone beaten them twice. It’s never easy to beat Windsor at anything so I’m really proud of my guys.”
Saturday’s four-point difference was typical of many of the Falcons’ first 16 outcomes this winter. Totaling 809 points and allowing 792 through 16 games, their total scoring margin is 17 points.
“Some of our scores are indicative of our style of play,” Cerveny said. “We like to keep games close and give ourselves a chance to win late.”
Up next, Skyline will be on the road to face Mead. In the conference rivals’ first meeting on Jan. 8, Mead made 13 3-pointers and won, 71-51.
Skyline 45, Windsor 41
At Skyline H.S.
WINDSOR (8-8, 5-4)
Schumacher 3 1-2 7, Greene 4 1-1 12, Rasmusson 2 0-0 5, Green 1 0-0 2, McGinnis 5 0-0 11, Garcia 0 0-0 0, Scoggin 1 1-1 3, Peck 0 0-1 0, Kennis 0 1-2 1. Totals 16 4-7 41.
SKYLINE (10-6 7-2)
Roy 1 1-2 4, Elwood 2 0-0 5, Robertson 6 7-10 23, H. Robison 0 1-3 1, A. Robison 2 7-12 12, Silva 0 0-0 0, Compian 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 16-27 45.
Score by quarters:
Windsor 6 7 9 19 — 41
3-point field goals — Windsor (5): Greene 3, Rasmusson, McGinnis; Skyline (5): Robertson 2, A. Robison, Roy, Elwood. Total fouls — Windsor 21, Skyline 14. Fouled out — Scoggin. Technical fouls — Schumacher.