LYONS — Lyons boys basketball may not have always come away with a win this season, but the Lions have proven time and again that they can pose a threat within the Mile High League.
On Friday night, they defeated fellow Class 2A squad Clear Creek at home by a 74-30 final score to improve their overall record to 7-5. Three of those losses have come by seven points or less as they now sit third in the league behind Highland (6-0 in league) and Denver Christian (5-0) with a 5-1 record.
“We got some new coaches and we’ve been working really hard as a team. We’ve put a lot of blood and sweat into practice and we’re getting stuff done,” senior Will Rieder said. “We’ve played really good games so far. We can’t just take these for granted, though. We’ve got to keep pushing and just do our thing.”
Rieder led his boys with 21 points, 15 of which came from behind the arc. The Lions excelled at shooting from long range all night, as three more boys netted double-digit points en route to the victory. Senior Gage Basey and junior Caden Pandolfi each scored 14 points as junior Nate Richardson added another 12.
All four have been averaging double digits this year.
They didn’t seem to falter, not once, against the Golddiggers, as they used their size, speed and height advantage on the glass to out-muscle their guests early and outpace them from there on out.
Ever since the Lions found themselves fighting back from an 0-4 start to the season, little has been able to stop them. Now, they’re enjoying a five-game winning streak over the last few weeks.
Assistant coach Noah Tank believes the biggest difference has lied in the team’s defense. That improvement was evident on Friday night, as the Lions caused the Golddiggers to turn the ball over time and again with steal after steal.
The Lions will have a shot to increase their advantage in the league standings over Heritage Christian, who entered the game tied with them, when they travel there on Tuesday for a late-night tipoff.
“Our big saying throughout the year was, ‘Believe or leave,’” Tank said. “This is a group of guys, led by our seniors, who believe in themselves, believe in what we’re doing as a coaching staff and you’re seeing on the court, especially when they believe in each other.”