Top 10 Local News Stories of 2018: No. 10 — Longmont High School Teams Post Successful Postseasons
Top 10 local stories of 2018
Through Dec.31, the Times-Call will count down the top stories of the year, as selected by the newspaper’s editors.
10. Longmont high school teams post successful post-seasons
Longmont High School’s boys basketball team is off to a perfect 9-0 start this season, continuing the run of success that peaked with the Trojans in March capturing their first state championship since 1942 .
The Trojans weren’t the last team of city high school athletes that made a playoff run to the final game of the season this year.
Skyline High School’s football team pressed on to the state final as a No. 9 seed, where the Falcons fell this month to the No. 2 Loveland Indians 62-14 to finish as Colorado’s 4A runner-up at 10-4 on the year.
The success of these two Longmont preps teams was among the brightest stories in the city in 2018.
Longtime Trojans hoops coach and 1975 Longmont graduate Jeff Kloster was celebrated by his senior players who were part of the program for a heartbreaking second-place finish as freshmen in 2015.
What Longmont lacked in size against its playoff opponents, the Trojans made up for with shooting, hustle and fundamental teamwork.
They faced a 6-foot-9 Falcon forward in the quarterfinals, a 6-foot-7 Pueblo South forward in the semifinal and multiple towers in the final against Lewis-Palmer, who the Trojans still managed to out-rebound.
Longmont also dished 14 assists to best the Rangers’ seven en route to a 62-59 victory to finish with a 26-2 record on the season.
But Longmont had to hold off a nearly successful fourth quarter Rangers comeback attempt, as they clawed their way back from a 15 point deficit at the end of the third quarter to tie the game at 59 with 40 seconds remaining.
It was Oakley Dehning’s 3-pointer for Longmont with 25 seconds left that turned out to be the game-winner.
While fans have to wait until next fall to see how Skyline’s football team will kick off its follow-up campaign to a second-place finish, Kloster and returning players Dehning, Beck Page, Brady Renck and the rest of the Trojans hoops squad has set a goal to go undefeated at home this season.
Since taking over the program in 1995, when he coached the Trojans to a Final Four appearance, Kloster has gone 429-158, including last season’s championship and his 9-0 mark to start this one.
After finally coming up victorious in the title game in his 24th season, Kloster was named the Denver Post All-Colorado boys basketball coach of the year for 2018.
Sam Lounsberry: 303-473-1322, firstname.lastname@example.org and twitter.com/samlounz .