Pirate boys chase elusive victory

Tom Munds
Posted

Spectators need a program at every game to see who is starting for the Englewood High School boys basketball team.

“This has been an unusual season in that we haven’t been able to maintain a stable roster,” Pirates coach Dave Chapman said. “It seems like every time we get a starting group working together, someone gets injured or has a problem with grades.”

Chapman and the Pirates continue the struggle against tough competition and with the problems with the roster as they are at Weld Central Feb. 8 and at Kent Denver on Feb. 12.

Weld Central is 10-7 overall and 3-4 in league. The Rebels score an average of 44 points per game. Leading scorers are Cody Bowen and Brandon Blackstone. Bowen is averaging 12.8 points a game and has hit 44 three-pointers this season. Blackstone is averaging 10.4 ppg.

Kent Denver is 12-1 on the season and 5-0 in league. The Sun Devils mount a balanced attack that averages 62.5 points a game. There are 14 players listed in the scoring summary. Josh Repine is the scoring leader, averaging 14.9 ppg and the only player averaging in double figures.

Englewood returns home Feb. 15 for the first home date in eight games to battle Vista Peak.

Home games are a double or triple header, depending on the opponent. For teams with three team levels, action begins at 4:30 p.m. with the freshman or C team, the junior varsity tips off at 5:30 and the varsity game is scheduled to start at 7. A single ticket is good for admission to all three games.’

Coach Chapman said his team played its best half of basketball since Christmas in the Feb. 1 game against Fort Morgan.

“We only had six varsity players against Fort Morgan but we still had a lead at the end of the first quarter and the game was tied at halftime,” he said. “We didn’t do as well in the second half but we still played them tough and I was proud of the effort.”

He said the team’s offense is the reason the Pirates stayed with Fort Morgan. He said the passing was crisp and the players were hitting their shots plus the guards did a good job of handling the defensive pressure applied by Fort Morgan. Also, defensively, the team worked hard and put pressure on the guy with the ball.

Isiah Mestas, one of the team’s scoring leaders, said he feels he is getting better because, with the changing roster, he had to step up to help his team.

“I am a mid-range outside shooter and I have averaged more than 10 points in each of the last three games,” he said. “I have good speed and quickness so I think that makes me a better defender than an offensive threat.”

He said basketball is his favorite sport. He said he likes the game because, while personal skills are important, it is teamwork that wins games.

“I just want to keep playing,” he said. “I want to get out there every game and do what I can to help our team win some games.”

The Feb. 1 game was a milestone for sophomore Gavin Phillips as he got his first varsity start.

“Getting the start against Fort Morgan felt great. I played almost the whole game. It was a lot of minutes but I was ready and I was glad to help my team,” he said. “It was a big step up to varsity from playing JV. The pace is a lot faster and, of course, the guys are bigger and a lot more talented.”

He said he is a shooting guard and, while he can drive to the basket, he prefers to take the outside shot.

“I don’t really have a favorite spot for a shot,” he said. “I just try to take a good shot whenever I get open.”

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