Huge win for a new team
FNE WARR. 61, LONGMONT 55
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.