LONGMONT — The turnover bug bit the Longmont Trojans on Thursday, and it cost them in the second half of their game with the Glenwood Springs Demons in the first game of the Longmont Trojan Classic.
Longmont (2-5) led 28-27 at the halftime break, but Glenwood Springs (5-2) outscored them 33-12 in the final two quarters and won 60-40, handing the Trojans their third straight loss.
“Right now, we’re sometimes allowing the scoreboard to dictate how we play,” Longmont coach Wade Kingsbury said. “Since we’ve had a couple of losses in a row, it dictated our energy coming into the game.”
The Trojans have endured a tough stretch of games to open the season with Erie, Mead, Monarch and D’Evelyn being the four losses they’ve suffered. Their biggest loss was by 14 points, a sign that the team has the talent to match the play from their opponents, according to Kingsbury.
Against Glenwood Springs, the team did not have the same energy as they’ve seen earlier this season.
Right away the Trojans were struggling with turnovers and had 10 in the first quarter, allowing Glenwood Springs to take a 17-10 lead. Things were cleaned up in the second and the offense came to life for Longmont to go on a big scoring run and lead at the break. In the third quarter, they unraveled with more turnovers that led to layups and open 3-pointers being drained by Glenwood Springs, which resulted in a 23-0 run that put the game out of reach.
Part of the struggles of late with the energy stems from the team having a different roster this season following the loss of eight seniors who graduated.
“We have basically five returning varsity kids, and in our top seven we have a freshman and a senior who didn’t play ever until this year,” Kingsbury said. “I think the bigger problem isn’t skill per se, it’s dealing with the intensity of a varsity game and recognizing in higher-level competition that basketball is a game of runs and sometimes at larger margins.”
“You have to find a way to break those runs and not lose your discipline, integrity on defense, patience on offense and all those things that make good teams great. We did that earlier in the season I think better.”
Longmont would finish with 36 turnovers on a night where they struggled with the press from Glenwood Springs and played rushed on the court in the second half.
Jordynn Lee and Sarah Wormke led the starting unit with nine points each and freshman Christine D’Epagnier came off the bench for nine to lead the Trojans in the game. All three played a pivotal role in the second-quarter run that saw Longmont outscore Glenwood Springs 18-10.
“We played as a team (in the second quarter),” Kingsbury said. “We played smart, we were disciplined in the things we wanted to do and were excited when people made good plays. We were excited for our teammates before we were excited for ourselves.”
Another big test awaits for Longmont on Friday when they play host to the Berthoud Spartans (5-0) after their 76-26 win over Thomas Jefferson earlier in the day. The test is against one of the top teams in Class 4A, but more than anything, the team is looking to get back to playing with high energy for a full four quarters like they were at the beginning of the season.
“Beating Berthoud is going to be a tough task, but we’ve played some of the tougher teams this year,” Kingsbury said. “We played those games to win. I felt tonight, even when we got the lead early in the second half, we were playing not to lose.”