Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jocelyn Rowley

Boys Basketball: Turnovers a significant factor as Cougars drop 2


January 20, 2017

Photo by Jocelyn Rowley Ethan Radatz (11) sets up for an out of bounds play against Mountain View.

The Niwot boys basketball team committed nearly 50 turnovers in two games last week, including a season-high 26 in a 65-49 loss to the Mountain View Mountain Lions on Jan. 12. Errant passes on three consecutive possessions late in the fourth quarter dashed a Cougars comeback attempt, and doomed Niwot to their seventh loss of the season.

The pounding by Mountain View came on the heels of a 57-41 fall to the Longmont Trojans on Jan. 10, another turnover prone game for the Cougars. Head coach Preston Hardy acknowledged that his team needs to work on making better decisions.

“We have discussed how important it is to value the basketball,” he said.

With the two defeats, the Cougars fell to 5-7 on the season, and 1-2 in the Northern League. Despite some notable individual performances, the Cougars were unable to replicate their success in the Roughrider Shootout the prior weekend. Hardy admitted that their tough league schedule may pose a challenge to his improving team.

“We learned a lot about ourselves this past week,” he said. “Hopefully we can use that knowledge moving forward and find a way to compete better in conference play.”

The team was also hampered by the loss of center Cameron Carlson, who injured his foot early in the game against Longmont, and missed the rest of the week’s action. Hardy said he expected the junior to rejoin the team for its next conference game at Thompson Valley.

There were several bright spots for the Cougars, however, such as sophomore Thomas Bounds, who led all Niwot scorers with 28 points in the two games, including 19 against the Trojans. Senior forward Adam Barber, who managed to stay out of foul trouble during this stretch, had a season-high 11 rebounds against Longmont, and is currently ranked fifth in the Northern League with 6.3 per game.

Center Jesse Falk, coming off the bench, posted nine points in the game against Mountain View, his season best so far. J.J. Kolakowski also stepped up against the Mountain Lions, with 13 points, including two three-pointers in the fourth quarter to bring the Cougars within three points before the turnovers doomed the Cougars.

Hardy knows his team will have to take better care of the basketball to make a run at the end of the season, and has adjusted his focus accordingly.

“We have been working on this in practice,” he said. “If we can limit our turnovers, we can play with anyone in the Northern League.”

The Cougars squared off at home against Thompson Valley on Jan. 17, and go back on the road to face Centaurus on Jan. 19.

(1/10) — Longmont 57, Niwot 41

Niwot (5-6, 1-1) 5 9 12 15 — 41

Longmont (6-3, 3-0) 11 16 11 19 — 57

Thomas Bounds 7 2-2 19, Adam Barber 2 1-3 7, J.J. Kolakowski 2 2-2 7, Jake Sims 2 0-0 6, Max Towlen 1 0-0 2, Alec Helgeland 0 0-2 0. Totals 14 6-17 41

(1/12) — Mountain View 65, Niwot 49

Mountain View (4-5, 0-0) 12 17 14 22 — 65

Niwot (4-4, 1-0) 7 13 10 19 — 49

Adam Barber 7 0-1 14, J.J. Kolakowski 5 0-0 13, Thomas Bounds 3 0-0 9, Jesse Falk 3 2-2 9, Alec Helgeland 1 0-0 2, Max Towlen 1 0-2 2. Totals 20 2-4 49


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