Huge win for a new team


The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Neil H. Devlin

If noth­ing else, it’s in­ter­est­ing.

The Far North­east War­riors ba­si­cally con­tain some of the rem­nants of the old Mont­bello. And, yes, it’s a lit­tle odd. The FNE War­riors are made up of mul­ti­ple schools, have been with­out their head coach, Ron Bush, who has been side­lined by work­ers’ comp since mid-De­cem­ber, and play their games at their old high school.

Those items aside, the Class 5A War­riors took down pre­vi­ously un­de­feated and 4A topranked Long­mont 61-55 on Satur­day. The Tro­jans had won 38 of their pre­vi­ous 39 games.

“Def­i­nitely, def­i­nitely, our best win to date,” said War­riors as­sis­tant coach Ger­ald Nelson, who has been lead­ing the team.

Now 10-3, the War­riors were in dan­ger of get­ting blown out early. But they quickly gath­ered them­selves and went to work on beat­ing Long­mont, which dropped to 11-1.

The War­riors re­peat­edly got be­hind the Long­mont zone de­fense, were su­pe­rior on the boards and both­ered the Tro­jans on de­fense through speed and quick­ness.

Sekou Cisse and Rus­sell Wilk­er­son each scored 15 points, but the city group re­ceived other huge con­tri­bu­tions, in­clud­ing from fresh­man point guard Jo­van Nelson, Melek Bar and Manel Ayol.

The War­riors grabbed their first lead at the buzzer to end the third quar­ter and kept it. De­spite turnover is­sues, some ques­tion­able shot se­lec­tion and missed free throws, they kept the Tro­jans chas­ing.

Nelson said his team’s ini­tial goal “is to be poised, so we can get our eas­i­est shots. But we’re still a young team (only three se­niors) and we still have lots of ma­tu­rity and learn­ing to do.”

Cisse, a chis­eled for­ward, noted his team’s abil­ity “to pen­e­trate and get the ball down low. Ev­ery­one was look­ing un­selfishly.”

Long­mont left the floor feel­ing it let one get away, but vet­eran coach Jeff Kloster said “it’s a good one for us to learn, and we’ll be bet­ter be­cause of it.”

The War­riors also weath­ered 19 points from Long­mont al­ls­tater Jus­tinian Jes­sup, who is bound for Boise State and fouled out late.

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