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Boys basketball: Legacy sputters late in loss to Horizon

Lightning were coming off a dramatic win over Broomfield Tuesday

BROOMFIELD — Legacy's Ethan Wise defends ...
Brent W. New/
BROOMFIELD — Legacy’s Ethan Wise defends Horizon’s Tabor Robison Friday, Jan. 21, 2022.

BROOMFIELD — A second come-from-behind win in a week was out of reach for Legacy Friday night.

Facing a crooked deficit for the second time in four days, the Lightning saw their perfect start in league fade inside their gym against CHSAA Class 5A No. 8 ranked Horizon, and this time they didn’t have enough answers offensively to play catch-up in a 51-37 loss.

“Credit to them, they took us out of our comfort zone,” Legacy coach Connor Clay said. “We were missing a couple guys. Our tempo was off. Kudos to them. Their pressure, their game plan, they executed it well. And we didn’t.”

Trailing by 12 midway through the third quarter, Ethan Wise answered with seven straight for Legacy to pull within 33-26. Horizon, though, countered with an 11-0 spurt to start the fourth to pull away. As part of it, Esmond Griffin nailed a 3-pointer in front of the home student section — then turned to them and smiled.

On Tuesday, the Lightning rallied to win at Broomfield, using a last-second go-ahead 3 by Jack Debell to steal a game in which they trailed by 10 at half and outscored the Eagles 15-4 in the fourth.

The late magic didn’t return Friday as they went scoreless for the first 4:23 of the fourth before Wise ended the drought to make it 46-29.

“We couldn’t hit shots much in the first and they had really good pressure in the fourth,” said Wise, who said he plays with the Horizon players often at the local gym. “We had a few kids out sick, too. That hurt us.”

Legacy (9-5, 2-1 5A Front Range League), playing without a starter and contributor off the bench, fell a game back in the league standings after beating Loveland and Broomfield to start conference play. Wise led the way with 11, while Bryce Spradling had nine.

Horizon (11-2, 3-0), meanwhile, continued its soar in the opening two months of the season. The Hawks are a perfect 5-0 on the road, which includes a defining win over 4A defending champ Mead.

Fueled by Coby Jimenez’s 21 points, they remained unblemished in conference play alongside Fossil Ridge.

“That team is scoring buckets every game and we held them (to less than their 65.4 scoring average), and that’s with them having at least 20 extra possessions with offensive rebounds and our turnovers,” Clay said. “Our identity is defense, playing hard. Make them work and we’re going to try and outwork everybody.”

Legacy honored former standout pitcher Lucas Gilbreath at halftime. Gilbreath tossed 42 2/3 frames for the Colorado Rockies in 2021, going 3-2 with a 3.38 ERA.

The Lightning are at Fairview Tuesday.

Brent W. New/
BROOMFIELD — Legacy’s Bryce Spradling sizes up a Horizon defender Friday, January 21, 2022.

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