Windsor — Sometimes fear of failure can result in exactly the thing to be feared. Such was the case for Skyview’s boys basketball team Thursday night when the Wolverines fell behind early and never rallied, losing 69-46 to a stingy Windsor team at the Northern Colorado Basketball Classic.
Skyview (1-2) lost badly to the Wizards over the summer, Wolverines coach Paul Barringer said after the game Reg Figal Gymnasium.
“I think we were afraid to fail early, man,” Barringer said. “We played them this summer and they beat us by 50. They just drilled us. You know, they’re a top 10 team — I think they’re a final eight team. They’ve got all their bases covered.”
Windsor (3-1) certainly covered its bases early in this one. After struggling to get going in the early parts of its games this season, the Wizards had no problems against Skyview, jumping out to a 23-11 lead in the first quarter.
“I thought we did a good job of playing team defense,” Windsor coach Dustin Duncan said. “I thought the kids did a really nice job of coming out and being ready to go from the start. That’s kind of what we wanted to learn from last week.”
On Saturday, against Montbello, the Wizards fell into a 28-22 halftime hole and worked to erase it in the second half, winning 61-58. Against Skyview, the Wizards needed no such heroics.
Windsor had 15 steals in the first half to push the halftime margin to 36-19. Senior Dylan Ochsner led the way with six steals and 12 first-half points. He finished with 16 points and said the Wizards’ athleticism is the difference this year.
“I think we’re really athletic and we can hang with any team defensively,” Ochsner said.
Senior center Lucas Watts led all scorers with 17 and said he was happy about the Wizards’ early effort.
“That’s the first time we’ve really gone out and jumped on a team,” Watts said. “We had a tough loss early to Rocky (Mountain) but I feel like we really jumped back and started to get on teams early with our defensive intensity and just pushing the ball.”
The Wizards lost 57-52 to the Lobos but have been perfect since. They look to continue that trend at 7 tonight when the Wizards host the run-and-gun Greeley West Spartans, who topped Mountain View 88-59 earlier Thursday in Windsor.
Before the Wizards could start thinking about West, they had to put away Skyview. That was easier said than done in the second half when the Wolverines went on a 12-5 run to open the quarter, pulling to within 10 points for the first time since early in the first quarter.
“We came out with a lot of enthusiasm,” Skyview guard Andrew Ortiz said. “But what happened, happened.”
Ortiz had seven points in the third quarter before the Wizards’ second unit happened. Although Connor Riley, Blake Bunday, Drew Bunday, Adam Ross and Clayton Jarboe aren’t the scorers the first unit is, they’re every bit as tough defensively.
“The second group is an outstanding defensive group,” Duncan said. “They make everything tough and they’re a very athletic group. I’ve said this before, but this is the deepest team I’ve had here. We can go 10-11 deep.”
The second unit stopped the bleeding and the Wizards went on a 23-13 run from the latter part of the third quarter to the end of the game.
It might have been different if not for a healthy dose of fear on the part of the Wolverines. Ortiz admitted as much.
“We came out scared,” Ortiz said. “We were all scared.”
That’s exactly the way the Wizards like it.
“Absolutely,” Watts said, agreeing that the high-pressure style is something the Wizards thrive on. “We like to get up in teams and create turnovers, and when we’re doing that, we’re a pretty decent team.”
SHS 11 8 18 9 — 46
WHS 23 13 18 15 — 69
WHS — Drew Bunday 2 0-0 4, Tanner Bohm 2 0-0 6, Dylan Ochsner 7 2-2 16, Connor Riley 0 0-0 0, Clayton Jarboe 0 0-0 0, Blake Bunday 0 0-0 0, Dalton Walker 3 2-3 9, Adam Ross 3 0-0 6, Alex Baldwin 5 1-3 11, Garrett Hammond 0 0-0 0, Lucas Watts 7 3-3 17, David Watson 0 0-0 0, Chuck Peck 0 0-0 0, Matt Thiemann 0 0-0 0.
3-point field goals — WHS 3 (Bohm 2, Walker); SHS 5 (Andrew Ortiz 3, Cory Wilson, Maynard Scott).
Total fouls — WHS 15 (Watts); SHS 9.