Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer
LONGMONT — The Longmont High School student section erupted into “We love Keegan” cheers with six minutes left in the Trojans’ home matchup Friday against Class 4A No. 8 ranked Winsdor.
The subject of the chant, senior shooting guard Keegan Patterson, had just sunk his fourth 3-pointer of the game to give Longmont the lead in a point-for-point battle that Windsor eventually won with a 49-45 final score.
The Trojans, who are sitting on the outside looking in of CHSAANow.com’s 4A top 10 at No. 13, stepped up to the challenge in the high-stakes contest to prove they belong among the best of the best. Three of their five losses have come by four points or less.
“We’re a really resilient team,” Patterson said. “We’ve got a lot of guys that won’t quit. Obviously, we’re really disappointed with this. We feel like we definitely didn’t get the outcome we wanted, the outcome we expected. We’ve had a lot of tough, close losses and we’ve got to fix that in practice. We’ll get better and we’re just working on timing and to peak at the right time.”
Patterson took the reins of the offense from all points of the floor as he netted 18 points. Senior power forward Brendan Barcewski focused his energy more in the paint and at the line as he followed behind with 17 points of his own.
Longmont nearly got the job done with a strong presence on the glass and a few rejections sprinkled in. At one point, Patterson blocked a ball so hard it got stuck between the rim and backboard.
The Trojans got off to a bit of a slow start as the Wizard defense snuffed them out at every turn. The Wizards, meanwhile, relied on their post-heavy offense, led by big man David Hageman, to carry them to a 14-6 lead near the end of the first quarter.
That was just a warmup for Longmont.
The Trojans spent much of the second quarter attacking the rim, thanks to the life that Patterson and Kale Derksen gave them with back-to-back 3s. In doing so, they were able to steal a 22-18 lead going into the half.
The third quarter devolved into streaks as the Trojans began the third quarter with eight straight points and the Wizards responded with 11 unanswered.
From there on out, it was anybody’s game.
Longmont fell to 10-5 and 3-2 in the 5A/4A Northern League with the loss and have an even tougher matchup next week when it hosts No. 3 Mead on Wednesday. The Northern League houses four of the Class 4A top 10 teams.
“We fully believe that we have all the talent and all the capability to make a big run here towards the end of the season. Right now, we’re not consistent enough,” Patterson said. “We think we might have the toughest league in the state. Obviously, that provides us with a good preparation going into the playoffs, which is where we really want to peak.”