Berthoud boys pick up first win of the season

By Dan Karpiel

The Surveyor

After their season-opening defeat at the hands of Thompson Valley a week prior, the Berthoud High School (BHS) boys basketball team could not wait to get back on the court and wipe the memory of the 50-point loss from their minds.

Berthoud looked like a different team in the three games that comprised last weekend’s annual Spartan Classic tournament at BHS. Berthoud picked up a win in the opening game of the weekend, defeating Skyview by a 41-32 final score. The next two games saw the Spartans on the losing end – 61-50 to Palisade and 53-50 to Mountain View – but both were winnable contests that provided valuable learning experiences that will benefit the team in the months ahead.

Since preseason practices began in November, BHS Head Coach Joel Davidson said the focus has been, and will continue to be, centered on daily improvement. Davidson explained he wants to see constant, consistent progress from the start of each practice to the end, from game-to-game and from week-to-week.

Said Davidson, “Our main emphasis every day has been skill development. That has been the main focus, but overall talk about constant daily improvement, we want to be better at the end of the day than when we started. If you keep doing that, if you trust the process and keep trying to get better every day and stay bought-in and be a good teammate, then everything else will take care of itself as the season goes on.”

To that end, Davidson and the Spartans can pat themselves on the back; the team was drastically improved in the eight days that spanned their games with Thompson Valley and the opening of the Spartan Classic. Berthoud was far more efficient on the offensive end of the floor, made far fewer mistakes, and played a more disciplined defense.

A solid start to the game with Skyview no doubt helped; Berthoud quickly established a 6-0 lead, then, when freshman guard Tristian Youngblood drained a three-pointer, the Spartans held a 9-2 advantage with 3:15 remaining in the first period.

Skyview operated a full-court press against Berthoud early in the game but did not enjoy nearly the same level of success as Thompson Valley did in the prior game, as the Spartans broke the press and turned the opportunity into points. The visiting Wolverines did assemble a 7-0 run to knot the game at nine-all, keeping Berthoud off the board until a Youngblood foul shot at 3:31 marked the Spartans first points of the period. A bucket from junior Cooper Hidalgo, who finished the night with 13 points to pace the Berthoud squad, kept the hosts ahead at the break, 13-12.

Berthoud came out of the break with energy, putting together a 12-4 run punctuated by a steal and lay-up from senior Aaron Hardy that gave the Spartans a 25-16 lead at the 2:54 mark in the third period.

Skyview did not fold, however, making good on four three-pointers in the second half and forced Berthoud to stay on their toes throughout the second half. The waning minutes of the game saw the Spartans take big steps on the mental side of the game. Staying disciplined on defense and patient on offense, Berthoud drew fouls and kept Skyview at bay. The Spartans made good on 10 fourth-quarter free-throws, keeping the Wolverines at arm’s length to secure the victory.

Berthoud (1-3) will travel to Longmont this weekend for the Trojan Tournament where they will face off with Littleton, Glenwood Springs and Longmont Dec. 19-21.  

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