Tigers grind out a vic­tory


The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Kyle New­man

aurora» Both Lake­wood and Regis Jesuit en­tered Fri­day night look­ing to re­gain early-sea­son mo­men­tum. The boys bas­ket­ball Class 5A No. 7 Tigers were com­ing off back-to­back losses to No. 4 Chero­kee Trail and No. 1 Thun­derRidge, while the Raiders lost two of three games in an out-of-state tour­na­ment.

And in a non­con­fer­ence bat­tle that went down to the wire at Guy Gibbs Gym, it was Lake­wood that emerged vic­to­ri­ous — and with some fresh mojo — thanks to a poised sec­ond half that gave the Tigers (5-3) a 58-53 win.

“We needed to bring more en­ergy to the floor in those past two games — we didn’t come out strong enough — but tonight we did that, and we came to­gether down the stretch,” Lake­wood se­nior Dallas Bai­ley said.

Both teams came out fir­ing in the first half, trad­ing blow for blow from be­hind the arc — with some fast­paced transition play in­ter­spersed in be­tween — and by the time sopho­more Jamil Safied­dine hit a shot from down­town to give Regis Jesuit a 24-23 to end the first half, it was the clear the game was go­ing to be an early-sea­son pres­sure test.

“That’s kind of our style — we’re kind of a run-and-gun type of of­fense with a lot of threes,” Lake­wood se­nior for­ward Ja­cob Storey ex­plained. “And we’ve def­i­nitely (fed the post) a lot more this sea­son — last sea­son we just put up a ton of threes, and we’re do­ing that this year too, but we’ve also added that in­side pres­ence, which is help­ing us all around.”

The lead con­tin­ued to change through­out the sec­ond half, but the Tigers, with coach Daryl John­son charged up on the side­line, started to hit key shots and get key stops. Storey (15 points) made his pres­ence felt on both ends of the floor, and Bai­ley (24 points) and Kolton Peter­son (13 points) also played big.

Regis Jesuit (2-4) came out strong to open the fourth, ty­ing the game at one point, but the Tigers were able to limit turnovers in the face of the Raiders’ full-court press — as well as hit cru­cial free throws — to pull away for the win. Ju­nior Sam Ban­nec led the Raiders with 20 points.

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