Boys basketball: Big first-half run pushes Longmont over Centaurus

Trojans continue lengthy win streak in Northern League

Brandon Boles/
Longmont’s Dallas Dye, center, goes up for a shot in the paint versus the Centaurus Warriors on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020 at Longmont High School.

LONGMONT — A 21-0 scoring run for the Longmont boys basketball team, which started in the first quarter and extended into the second, made the difference in the Trojans getting a 48-29 win over the Centaurus Warriors Friday night.

The win marks the seventh straight for Longmont and extends its win streak in the Northern League to 33 straight dating back to 2018.

“That’s what we do here at Longmont,” said senior Dallas Dye. “We go into every game thinking that we are going to win. We’re going to go out there and give it our best shot.”

Things did not start well for Longmont offensively as it struggled to put the ball in the hoop early. Dye got a putback for the first two points for the Trojans, but not until 3 minutes had passed in the quarter.

Once he got the first basket, the Trojans got into a rhythm and began scoring.

Dye was the man who got the run in the first half started with shots and assists to put Longmont up 12-6 at the end of the first quarter. More offense followed with the Trojans attacking inside and then being able to kick the ball out and hit some 3-point shots to further the lead.

“When we can get stops and get out running to the rim, then the shots start falling for us,” Dye said. “We did start a little slow, but our defense really led to our offense there.”

The run lasted nearly an entire quarter until Centaurus’ Eros Piller knocked down a free throw with 3 minutes remaining in the half.

“We knew (Owen) Koonce was going to try and take the game over, so we had to be in our gaps and have good man-to-man principles,” Dye said. “When he drives, we had to slide over and help on everyone. We just did a great job of team defense tonight and did a good job keeping them off the boards, as well.”

Koonce had a good second half to finish with 11 points but was held to four points through the first two quarters due to foul trouble that kept him on the bench for most of the half. Fellow starters Carson Hill and Mario Everett were also in foul trouble early and forced to sit, forcing Centaurus to play more minutes with its bench to try and keep things steady.

The foul trouble, coupled with a cold shooting night that saw Centaurus not hit a 3-point shot the entire game, led to a perfect storm that was too much to navigate through, according to head coach Travis Maron.

“Longmont has been the standard in our league for a long time, and it seems like if some things go wrong you say uh-oh instead of saying we’re OK,” Maron said. “We feel like if we could have played our game, we could have played with (Longmont). They took us out of our game and we didn’t adjust.”

Thanks to the big run, Longmont took a 31-9 lead into the half. Things settled down after the break for both teams which led to a competitive second half. Centaurus was able to get some things going offensively and Longmont was able to burn the clock with longer offensive possessions.

Brandon Boles/
Mario Everett of Centaurus attacks the rim for a layup against Longmont’s Eddie Kurjak in the second half of their Northern League game on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020 at Longmont High School. (Photo by Brandon Boles/

Eddie Kurjak led Longmont with 16 points and 12 rebounds while Dye scored 15 and dished out seven assists in the win. The Trojans will look to keep their win streak going next week with games against Mountain View and Northridge.

“We just have to get better every single day,” Dye said.

Centaurus began a four-game road swing on Friday and will face Greeley Central and Niwot next week. For them, it’s about playing to their potential each night moving forward.

“It’s about being able to play to our standard and play as the best version of ourselves every night,” Maron said. “We need to show up every day knowing we’ve put in the work and just go out there and have fun. I know we have the pieces, we just need to be a little more mentally tough.”