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Articles from the 'Niwot Boys Basketball' series


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  • Ravaged by COVID, Cougars limp through weekend tournament

    Jack Carlough|Dec 22, 2021

    It hasn't been easy for Niwot boys basketball to put together a formidable team in recent weeks. Head coach Clay Wittrock estimated that since early December, nine Cougars have missed games and/or practices due to impacts of COVID-19. Niwot canceled its recent Steamboat Springs trip (which has been rescheduled for Jan. 4) and is waiting to reschedule games against Colorado Academy and Eagle Valley that were missed during a five-day program shutdown. Low numbers and moving pieces have been a...

  • Niwot boys stumble in home tournament

    Dec 8, 2021

    The 2021-22 season of Niwot boys basketball debuted on Dec. 2 to mostly positive reviews from third-year coach Clayton Wittrock, after the Cougars posted a 42-32 win over Denver West in the first of three back-to-back-to-back games at home. Behind notable performances from senior Rowan Granat and newcomer Jack Jarvis, Niwot showed signs of improvement on both sides of the court, giving Wittrock a reason to believe that the woes of the past might be receding. "Going into the half, we were just...

  • Comeback season for Niwot boys basketball tips off on Dec. 2

    Jocelyn Rowley|Dec 1, 2021

    The Niwot boys basketball team didn't see much success during the abbreviated 2020-21 season, but the "hard lessons" they learned during the 1-13 campaign should pay off in a much improved 2021-22, third-year head coach Clayton Wittrock said. "The fact that we are bringing in a more experienced group is big for us," Wittrock said. "I think you coach a team differently when they've been in those tough situations and faced some pressure ... I'm excited to see us be able to go have a decent...

  • Challenging 2021 season ends for Niwot boys

    Jocelyn Rowley|Mar 10, 2021

    The Niwot boys didn't end up on the winning end of the score in their 2021 season finale, but even that wasn't enough to dampen Michael "Misha" Barrett's spirits before, during, and after the game. A longtime Cougar basketball fan, the three-point specialist has dreamed about suiting up for the Niwot varsity since middle school, and on March 5, he finally got the chance to do just that in front of a supportive home crowd. "I will remember this moment for the rest of my life," the senior said...

  • Niwot falters against Frederick

    Jocelyn Rowley|Mar 3, 2021

    The Niwot boys basketball team finally broke their season-long losing streak with a rousing 54-45 victory over league foe Berthoud on Feb. 22. But it was their decidedly unrousing 65-35 defeat two days later at the hands of the Frederick Warriors (8-3) that made the strongest impression on head coach Clayton Wittrock. "We played one quarter of basketball like we know we can play, and that wasn't enough," he said after the Cougars' tenth loss of the season, their fourth by 30 points or more....

  • Niwot boys open 2021 with loss to Roosevelt

    Jocelyn Rowley|Feb 3, 2021

    The 2021 season didn't get off to a winning start for the Cougars on Jan. 26, but the hard-fought loss yielded some pleasant surprises for Niwot head coach Clayton Wittrock. "It was a good effort from a young team," he said following his team's 47-35 defeat in the season opener against Roosevelt. "There were times when we just played hard, played smart and played together, and good things happened. And there were sometimes, even though we did everything we needed to, a shot didn't fall, and I...

  • New challenges ahead for Niwot boys basketball in 2021

    Jocelyn Rowley|Jan 20, 2021

    Even before the COVID-19 pandemic altered the landscape of local high school sports, the 2021 boys basketball season promised to be full of potential pitfalls for second-year coach Clayton Wittrock and the Niwot Cougars, as they adapt to a new league and a new starting lineup. But seeing his youthful team's resilience during the past 11 months of upheaval and social distancing has made Coach Wittrock hopeful that the Cougars will find a way to build on last season's momentum and roll with the...

  • Niwot hoopster signs with Park University

    Jocelyn Rowley|Aug 5, 2020

    Kyle Reeves isn't quite sure how his recruiting videos ended up in the hands of the Park University men's basketball Coach Jason Kline, he's just glad they did. When the spread of coronavirus made recruiting a secondary concern for many college athletic programs across the country, the 6-foot, 4-inch Reeves thought the opportunities he fought so hard to earn on the court as a point guard for Niwot might be put on hold for another year. "Someone sent him my films, and he saw them and liked me, so...

  • Niwot makes early exit from basketball playoffs

    Jocelyn Rowley|Mar 4, 2020

    Senior point guard Cooper Sheldon was philosophical following Niwot's three-point loss to Air Academy Kadets in the first round of the Class 4A basketball playoffs on Feb. 26. A questionable judgment by the referees in the final seconds of the game cost the Cougars another shot at the net, and, with it, a chance to tie up the score and go to overtime. Instead, the clock ticked away to 0:00 with the score at 53-50 favoring the Kadets, and as their jubilant fans crowded the court, the Niwot...

  • Student-Athlete of the Week: Austin Rathburn

    Jocelyn Rowley|Feb 12, 2020

    In seventh grade, Austin Rathburn realized that his ultimate height was destined to be several derivations from the norm, so he set his sights on the sport that tends to favor those so gifted. Now several years and several growth spurts later, the even-keeled senior is the Niwot basketball team's starting center and, at a towering 6-feet 5-inches, one of the hardest players to defend in the Northern League. "In our conference, he's tied for double-doubles, and in the last game, he was [close...

  • Misha Barrett takes the court for Niwot

    Jocelyn Rowley|Jan 29, 2020

    When he's on the court "making it rain" for Niwot, shooting guard Misha Barrett looks like any other underclassman hustling for a chance to leave the 'D' team behind. It's only when you get a chance to talk to him that you realize that the hardworking three-point specialist has significant cognitive deficiencies, thanks to an anoxic brain trauma suffered at birth. But that hasn't stopped him from playing the game he loves, and now he's getting a chance to do it for the team he loves. "It feels g...

  • Late surge by Niwot falls short in two conference games

    Jan 29, 2020

    The Niwot boys basketball team moved to 8-7 on the year, after dropping a pair of close games to Northern League rivals. On Jan. 21, the Cougars scored 25 4th-quarter points in a 64-56 losing effort to arch-rival Silver Creek. Niwot had another strong second half against Centaurus on Jan. 24, but it wasn't enough to overcome a 14-0 deficit to start the game, and the Cougars went on to lose 54-47....

  • Niwot goes 2-0 to start conference play

    Jocelyn Rowley|Jan 15, 2020

    The Niwot boys basketball team improved to 7-4 on the year, after picking up another pair of wins as Northern League play got underway last week. The Cougars were considerably more effective on both sides of the ball in rousing home wins over Northridge (63-40) on Jan. 7 and Thompson Valley (48-39) on Jan. 10, but it was his team's return to form on defense that had head coach Clay Wittrock back in a positive frame of mind. "Thompson Valley is a tough, big physical team, and I knew that was...

  • Niwot picks up two wins at the Rough Rider Shootout

    Jan 8, 2020

    The Niwot boys basketball team rang in 2020 by going 2-1 at the annual Rough Rider Shootout at Roosevelt, held Jan. 2-4. But sloppy play on both offense and defense over the three-game stretch has Cougar head coach Clay Wittrock making some new resolutions for his team. "We need to find how we're going to be a team that, for four quarters, battles regardless of whether things are going well or bad, and plays for each other," he said. "We really need to find that consistency, so every game,...

  • Niwot boys stun Erie in home opener

    Jocelyn Rowley|Dec 25, 2019

    It wasn't quite a Christmas miracle, but Niwot's upset win over the 10th-ranked Erie Tigers on Dec. 19 certainly had fans rejoicing. Led by senior guard Cooper Sheldon, four Cougars scored in double-digits in the 61-48 victory, while an aggressive effort on defense held one of the highest scoring teams in Class 4A to their lowest point total of the season. For first year head coach Clay Wittrock, it was the breakout game he has been eagerly anticipating. "We finally found a way to calm down,...

  • Niwot boys basketball preview

    Jocelyn Rowley|Dec 4, 2019

    Clayton Wittrock isn't sure that the Niwot boys basketball team is ready to contend for a Northern League title, but the first-year head coach does have an undeniably sunny outlook for the upcoming 2019-20 season. With a talented core of seniors, plus some future stars, the former Grand Junction assistant said the new-look Cougars are just a few tweaks away from a run in the Class 4A playoffs. "I think the team is going to look much different than last year. We are a motion-based offense. My...

  • Niwot names Clayton Wittrock boys basketball coach

    Jocelyn Rowley|Jul 3, 2019

    The Niwot boys basketball team has had its share of disappointments over the past two seasons, but new head coach Clayton Wittrock is only looking ahead. "I met with the seniors on one of my first days in town, and the thing that we agreed upon is that there's a great group of seniors here, and we want them to go out on a positive note," the longtime Grand Junction varsity assistant said. "What they've shown me in just the short time we've had this summer is that with the right kind of...

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