BROOMFIELD — An offensive mess, or perhaps defensive masterpiece, Longmont’s win over Holy Family Tuesday night was far from pretty.
“Sometimes you win ugly,” Longmont coach Jeff Kloster said. “Really. I’ll tell you what, you’ll take any win you can because they’re hard to come by in this conference.”
Brendan Barcewski scored a game-high 13 points, recent University of Southern California football commit Keegan Patterson added nine, and the Trojans survived a rough shooting night on the road to beat the Tigers, 42-35.
Longmont (14-5, 7-2 Class 5A/4A Northern Colorado Athletic Conference), which didn’t hit from the field for the first 6 minutes, 48 seconds of game time, grabbed its first lead of the night on Alan Higganbotham’s 3 with 1:07 left in the third quarter. Barcewski followed with back-to-back buckets in the fourth and the Trojans pushed their lead to 33-27 on Kale Derksen’s jumper with 5:01 remaining.
In the final minutes, Holy Family (12-7, 6-3) pulled within two with makes from Eric Quintana and Jackson Ward. But Jack Moll tipped in a missed free throw by Patterson and the Trojans sealed the game with six free throws over the last 39 seconds to nab their fourth straight victory.
“Our defense is what wins us games every time,” Higganbotham said. “Our defense, we pride it to be better than anyone in the state. That’s what happened tonight.”
After Higganbotham had the lone field goal for the Trojans in the first quarter, his team found a bit of an offensive groove in the second. Down eight, they kicked off the quarter with a quick bucket from Barcewski followed by a 3 from Patterson to trim the deficit to 14-11.
Late in the half, Patrick Staff’s jumper ended a scoring drought for both teams of 2:10 and gave the Tigers a 20-17 lead. Cole Corner answered with 3 at the buzzer to tie things going into the break.
“Our goal was to make progress tonight,” Holy Family coach Pete Villecco said. “We just said progress over perfection. We always say that. Our standard was progress and I thought we got a little better.”
Better but not where they want to be. Holy Family struggled offensively for a third straight game, scoring less than 40 points in each. As part of the rough shooting, the Tigers went just 3-of-9 from the free throw line.
“We’re just going to keep working at it,” Villecco said. “I like our group, and once we figure it out, I think we’re going to be a tough out.”
Both teams finished play in the NCAC (Mead won the league title) and will now head into a crossover tournament featuring the NCAC and the Longs Peak League.
As of Tuesday night, the Trojans are 10th in 4A RPI and the Tigers are 14th.