Legacy rebounds from slow start to defeat Westminster

Ralston Valley Round-up

Adam Hothersall
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 12/21/18

Legacy basketball erased a three-point Westminster halftime lead to gain their second victory of the season, 61-53 in the opening round of the 11th Annual Ralston Valley Round-Up Dec. 11. Behind the …

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Legacy rebounds from slow start to defeat Westminster

Ralston Valley Round-up

Posted

Legacy basketball erased a three-point Westminster halftime lead to gain their second victory of the season, 61-53 in the opening round of the 11th Annual Ralston Valley Round-Up Dec. 11.

Behind the arc, Westy (0-4) established their stamp on the contest early with seven threes in the opening half, putting the Lightning defense in shambles. The post-up, inside game of junior Seneca Brewer and stretch shooting of senior Jacob Caraveo and junior Jesus Barron posted all of the team’s 26 points in the opening half.

“I thought the boys executed the game plan early on,” Westminster coach Kevin Trujillo said. “We were patient moving the ball side-to-side, making the defense work. For the most part, I thought the boys in the first half played extremely well.”

Despite the solid sharp-shooting effort from the Wolves in the first quarter, Legacy stuck around. Hitting only 6-for-19 from three-point range in the game, the Lightning did their work inside. Shooting 52 percent on the night from the 2-point area, seniors Jack Olson and Jackson Stapleton (15 points on the night, 10 in second-half) led the second-half outburst.

“Westminster did a really good job game planning, coming out to get open shots on us,” Legacy coach Connor Clay said. “We had to adjust our closeouts, giving them different looks. Once we found the matchups we liked, that changed the game.”

Recording the double-double with 22 points and 15 rebounds, Olson sparked a fire in a group that outscored the Wolves 38-27 in the second half. The long, athletic forward’s 14 points in the latter half put the game out of reach at a team-high 13-point deficit with 4:35 remaining.

“He’s done a great job for us this year, and his role is going to change every game, which is what makes him dynamic,” Clay said. “Sometimes he’s going to have to play inside when he has that height advantage. He’s skilled and versatile enough to cause some matchup problems.”

With the 52-39 margin late, the Wolves didn’t give up. Eight points by Caraveo (two three’s) and five from senior Kristofer Serna put the game in shouting distance of nine with 2:06 remaining. Unfortunately for Westy, they ran out of time.

“We are trending in the right direction,” Trujillo said. “It took just a couple of unforced turnovers and a couple of bad shots that kind of got us out of our rhythm. I think we came out flat in the third (quarter) but started to work our way back into things in the fourth. I’m proud of our effort, we never give up, and we continue to work hard, and that’s helping us.

“We knew we had our backs against the wall being on the road these first seven games against some quality opponents. I felt Legacy was a very good team, but I also felt like that was a winnable game for us.”

After dropping their first six games of the season, two straight wins for the Lightning have their heads held up high moving forward. Focusing on themselves and not what other team’s do has been the point of emphasis for Clay.

“We really have to play our game, a team game for four quarters every night to beat people on our schedule. When we put all of the records aside and trust each other for four quarters by competing on every possession, that’s the biggest thing we should take away.”

In Westminster’s final two games of the tournament, the Wolves fell to Aurora Central and Mountain Range. MR’s victory put the Mustangs at 3-6 on the year. Legacy went on to lose to Pomona Dec. 13 before bouncing back with the 71-51 win over Rampart the following night.

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