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Cougar Boys Basketball Wins at Home, Loses on Road

 

February 10, 2016

Photo by Ed NavarroNiwot's Adam Barber shoots over Greeley Central in the Cougars' victory.

Starting the week with six games left on the season and a 7-10 record, it was do or die time for the Niwot High School boys basketball team. Unfortunately they did a little bit of both during the week.

The Cougars won big in the last game of their home stand against Greeley Central on Wednesday, Feb. 3 67-43, but they were unable to take care of business when they hit the road for a game against Longmont Friday, Feb. 5, which they lost 52-37.

Against Greeley Central, Niwot had three boys score in double digits for only the second time this season. Junior Adam Barber led the team with 15 points off of six field goals, while senior Ryan Kannegieter pitched in 10 points and junior Jacob Sims scored a season-high 11 points.

They couldn’t keep the momentum going when they faced the 17-1 Longmont Trojans, though they were able to hold the Trojans to well under their season scoring average.

Cougar Head Coach Preston Hardy said it was ultimately turnovers that did his team in on Friday.

“Fifteen turnovers in the first half is hard to crawl back against anybody,” Hardy said after the loss to Longmont. “I was frustrated with the first half but I’m proud of the way we handled ourselves in the second. Holding [Longmont] to 52 points is pretty good. We are one of the only teams to hold them under 70 all year and we have done it twice.”

Though they did play excellent defense against Longmont, Niwot didn’t have a single player in double digits in scoring against the Trojans. Senior Walker Bounds did lead the team with nine points on four field goals.

The Cougars only shot 33 percent from the floor the entire game, and Kannegieter was only able to score one basket off of 11 attempts.

“We ask a lot of [Kannegieter], he leads us in every single statistical category,” Hardy said of his standout senior. “I wouldn’t classify today as him struggling, I would classify it as him leading and not being afraid to keep shooting even when it’s not going in.”

The identity of this team has been a problem throughout the season, but Hardy said they have figured out what they do well and need to capitalize on their strengths.

“We know who we are defensively,” Hardy said. “If we take care of the ball we can play offensive basketball at a more efficient level. We aren’t a team that is going to score 75 points. If we can keep a team around 52 we can play with them.”

With four games left on the schedule, the Cougars have some work to do if they want to be considered for postseason play. With an 8-11 record, they really need to win out so they can finish the season with a winning record.

“We understand where the bar has been raised and today we fell short,” Hardy said of the Longmont performance. “We truly believe we can play with anyone in this conference. If we win out they can’t keep us out. That’s our motto going forward.”

Niwot will put that motto to the test this week as the Cougars have an away game at Thompson Valley on Tuesday, Feb. 9 and a home game against Mountain View on Thursday, Feb. 11.

Greeley Central 5 11 10 17 – 43

Niwot 17 21 8 21 – 67

Niwot: Jackson Kolakowski 0 0-0 0, Ty Vigil 2 0-0 5, Joseph Ho 2 0-0 4, Walker Bounds 2 0-0 4, Ryan Kannegieter 4 0-0 10, Noah Radatz 1 0-0 2, Adam Barber 6 0-0 15, Michael Agado 3 0-0 6, Jacob Sims 3 2-2 11, Michael Oliver 3 0-2 6, Mason Lopez 0 0-0 0, Roberto Ramirez 2 0-0 4. Totals 28 2-4 67.

3-point field goals – Niwot: Kolakowski 0-1, Kannegieter 2-4, Barber 3-5, Vigil 1-3, Sims 3-5.

Total fouls – Niwot: 17, Greeley Central: 10.

Niwot 4 8 10 15 – 37

Longmont 13 14 13 12 – 52

Niwot: Jackson Kolakowski 1 0-0 3, Ty Vigil 1 2-2 5, Joseph Ho 1 2-2 4, Walker Bounds 4 1-1 9, Ryan Kannegieter 1 0-0 3, Noah Radatz 1 0-0 3, Adam Barber 3 0-0 7, Michael Agado 0 0-0 0, Jacob Sims 0 0-0 0, Michael Oliver 1 1-2 3. Totals 13 6-7 37.

3-point field goals – Niwot: Kolakowski 1-4, Radatz 1-1, Kannegieter 1-8, Barber 1-1, Agado 0-4, Vigil 1-1, Sims 0-2.

Total fouls – Niwot: 14.

 

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