Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jocelyn Rowley

Boys Basketball: Big night from sophomore Bounds powers Niwot in season opener


December 9, 2016

Photo by Ed Navarro Niwot’s Adam Barber drives to the basket against Frederick.

On opening night in front of the home crowd, sophomore Thomas Bounds scored a game-high 21 points as the Cougars coasted to a 66-40 victory over the Frederick Warriors.

“It’s always nice to win the first one,” Niwot head basketball Coach Preston Hardy said.

Bounds, making his varsity debut for Niwot, had three of the team’s 11 three-pointers, and made eight free throws on nine attempts. Defensively, he chipped in with four steals and a block.

“Tommy Bounds really stepped up,” Hardy said of his youngest team member’s strong performance. “As a sophomore, we were waiting to see how long it would take for him to get adjusted to the varsity level.”

Both teams had trouble shaking off their pre-season rust, and the first quarter ended with the Cougars leading 6-5. But in the second quarter, Cougar shots finally started falling, and Niwot was up 26-15 at the break.

The Cougars pulled away in the second half. At the end of the third, they led 41-27, and would go on to add another 25 points in the fourth, more than half of those from Bounds alone.

Senior forward Adam Barber also came up big for the Cougars in the win, with 12 points and four rebounds. Senior guards Jake Sims and Donato Rios combined for another 17 points, 15 of those from three-pointers. Seniors Jackson Kolakowski and Carter Osteen had five rebounds apiece, and Kolakowski also had five assists.

Hardy said he was proud of his team’s effort in the game.

“The boys worked so hard in the off-season” said Hardy. “Picking up a win in the first game helps validate some of that work.”

The Cougars didn’t have too much time to savor their victory, however. Two nights later, on Dec. 2, Niwot played host to the Erie Tigers. In a low-scoring defensive battle, the Cougars fell to the Tigers 42-47.

Once again, the Cougars started slowly, scoring fewer than 10 points in the first quarter for the second game in a row. But this time, the Cougars’ woes would extend into the second quarter. At the half, Niwot trailed 26-14.

Hardy thinks his players may be letting their emotions get the best of them in front of a rowdy crowd.

“Playing at home is very exciting,” he said. “We need to allow that to help us and not hurt us.”

Niwot came out with a strong offensive effort in the third quarter, outscoring the Tigers 22-8. Unfortunately, the Erie defense kicked into gear, holding the Cougars to just six fourth-quarter points.

Hardy pointed to the team’s lack of composure and effort as factors in the loss, saying, “We just need to do a better job of channeling our emotions and keeping our composure.”

In particular, Hardy noted that his team was 11 for 22 from the three point line against Frederick, but just 3 of 25 against Erie. “That same effort was not there,” he said.

Rios was the Cougars’ leading scorer against Erie, with 11 points, while Bounds was held to seven points, including one of the Cougars three from beyond the arc. Barber had eight points, 10 rebounds and three assists on the night, and made six of eight free throws. Junior center Cameron Carlson had seven points, and three rebounds, while Jake Sims had five rebounds and three points.

The Cougars welcomed another group of Tigers on Dec. 6, this time from Holy Family. The Cougars will finally make their road debut on Dec. 13 at Skyline, followed by road games at Berthoud on Dec. 16 and the Standley Lake (at the Pepsi Center) on Dec. 19.

(11/30) — Niwot 66, Frederick 40

Frederick (0-1, 0-0) 5 10 9 16 — 40

Niwot (1-0, 0-0) 6 20 15 25 — 66

Adam Barber 4 2-3 12, Jackson Kolakowski 0 3-3 3, Jake Sims 3 0-0 9, Donato Rios 3 0-3 8, Thomas Bounds 5 8-9 19, Carter Osteen 1 0-0 4, Ethan Radatz 1 1-4 3, Jesse Falk 1 0-0 3, Connor Ryan 1 0-0 2, Cameron Carlson 1 1-2 3. Totals 20 15-28 66

(12/2) — Erie 47, Niwot 42

Erie (1-0, 0-0) 10 16 8 13 — 47

Niwot (1-1, 0-0) 5 9 22 6 — 42

Adam Barber 1 6-8 8, Jackson Kolakowski 1 3-3 6, Jake Sims 1 0-0 3, Donato Rios 5 1-5 11, Thomas Bounds 2 2-2 7, Jesse Falk 0 0-1 0, Cameron Carlson 13 1-1 7. Totals 13 13-20 42


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