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LYONS BOYS’ BASKETBALL TEAM MAKES PLAYOFFS
The Lyons Boys Basketball varsity team has qualified for the 2A playoffs. The team is currently 6-1 in league and 8-2 overall with losses only to 3A teams Estes Park and Highland. The already shortened season became even shorter when Lyons players had to quarantine after being exposed to Covid-19 in a basketball game by an opposing player. Fortunately, it appears that nobody on the team became infected, and the team was able to literally rebound, winning 4 games in 5 days and qualifying in the number 17 slot out of 24 teams advancing to the state tournament.
Covid definitely had an impact on the season with fewer games, no preseason tourneys, single elimination play-offs, mask wearing, limited spectators and relatively quiet games without the festive band, cheerleaders and loud student body. The coaches and the AD Colleen Ford had to work very hard to meet all the Covid regulations and make the season happen. The players I spoke with were grateful to have a season this year and were intent on making the most of the opportunity.
With only one week to prepare for the season, the team got off to a rough start with a loss to 3A Estes Park 58-39. That was followed with two solid wins against Shining Mountain 65-24 and Heritage Christian 75-57. Highland, now a 3A team, over-powered the Lions with a 90-57 loss. This was followed with back-to-back wins against Loveland Classical, 63-21 and Union Colony Prep 56-48. Shortly after the Union Colony game, Lyons players had to quarantine for the next two weeks– no in person school, practice or games allowed. This was very disappointing for the players.
With only one day of practice after the quarantine break, Lyons won a nail-biter against Gilpin County in OT 71-68 after a sluggish start. They rounded out the regular seasons with wins over Twin Peaks Charter Academy 57-28, Dayspring Christian 74-57 (avenging their playoff loss from last season) and Dawson School 59-30.
Lyons ended the season ranked 3rd in the Mile High League and played the #16 seed, Monte Vista away March 12. The Lyons team lost during the first round of the playoffs to Monte Vista, 59 to 52 in a hard-fought contest. Mills scored 32 and Basey 14 in the losing effort. Congratulations to the team for their perseverance during this unique season. We wish our seniors well and hope they continue to play the great game of basketball.
Seniors include Skylar Gregory, Bode Shiver, Simon Richardson and Sean Stevelinck. Gregory has played four years for Lyons and is known for his hustle and positive attitude.
Starter Shiver is known for his quick feet on defense and 3-point shooting ability. His per game stats include 7 points, 2.8 assists (2nd on team), and 2.5 steals (tied for 2nd on team). Sean Stevelinck joined the team this year. Well-known as the quarterback for the LHS football team and baseball standout, Stevelinck’s athleticism helped him develop quickly and make a significant contribution on defense. Simon Richardson played his first season for Lyons and played on both the JV and Varsity squads.
Juniors include Gage Basey and Grant Gau. Basey is a Co-Captain and usually plays post averaging 17.6 points per game, shooting an efficient 72%. He leads the team with 11 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game. His blocking stats have made him 2nd of all 2A players in the state. Grant has developed into a strong starter on the squad and has helped the team rebound with his elevated vertical. He averages 4.1 rebounds per game, 3rd on the team. He is also an offensive threat making shots and frustrating defenses.
Sophomores Alex Dugan, Tucker Mills and Nathan Richardson are a force to be reckoned with. Dugan has a high basketball IQ and has entered games at critical times playing heads up defense. Co-Captain Mills is a rare 2A point guard who can beat his opponent at the 3-point line, by a floater in the key, or by driving to the basket with a slam dunk. He leads the team in per game stats for points scored with 22.2, assists with 3.4, and steals with 2.8. A truly talented player, Mills average of 22.2 points per game ranks him 3rd of all 2A players in the state. He also is the 2nd leading rebounder on the team with 4.5 per game. Nate Richardson is also a Co-Captain and is well-known for his 3-point shooting ability collecting 20 during the short season. Nate is the 3rd leading scorer on the team averaging 9.5 points per game, and 3rd on the team in assists per game with 2.5.
Freshmen Henry Johnson, Harper Leino and Finn Oetting are all part of a very strong basketball class and contribute to the success of the team despite their youth. Johnson is a strong post player and has started most of the season. Johnson is 5th on the team in rebounds averaging 3.3 and has the highest free throw shooting percentage at 75%. Although Harper took few shots overall, he scored an efficient 60% which ranks 3rd on the team. Finn Oetting has played an important role, often defending quick guards when footspeed is critical. He does not hesitate to drive to the hoop even in heavy traffic. Lyons should have a strong future with so many young talented players.
Junior Varsity and C Team players in the program include brothers Davis and Jack Abernathy, Marc Andersen, James Dean, Timmy Knipscheer, Simon Richardson, Abe Vasquez and Sage Wynja.
Coaches include Jahmiel McLawrence- Varsity, Tyler Cronkite- Junior Varsity, Mark Roberts, C-Team and Assistant Coach Ryan Bant-Cogburn. Coach McLawrence is a veteran player, high school and club coach and is in his 3rd season at Lyons. Returning Coach Cronkite, elementary school teacher by day, was promoted from C Team to JV this season. Beloved veteran track/cross country Coach Roberts and previous assistant coach for football and track, Coach Bant-Cogburn, rounded out the coaching staff.