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Littleton's boys basketball team gave the home fans a lot to cheer about as they controlled the tempo of play from the opening tipoff to the final buzzer while besting Arvada in the season opener on Nov. 29.
“We are excited about this group and what they can do. We have quick guards, bigger guys to help us on the boards, plus a couple guys who will help us who transferred to Littleton last year and had to wait until this season to join us,” Coach Ryan Fletcher said. “We are a veteran team. We are excited about the guys we have on the roster and the way we are playing as a team. I think this will be a turnaround year for us.”
He said the Lions will push the pace at both ends of the court and the whole game plan starts with defense.
“We will apply full-court pressure to cause havoc and turnovers that will get our offense going,” he said. “On offense we will run the floor looking to go to the basket but we also can hit our outside shots.”
The Lions applied full-court defensive pressure from the opening tipoff. Littleton took the lead 10-9 midway through the first quarter and led 24-11 going into the second quarter, but Arvada rallied and cut Littleton's lead by halftime. But the second half belonged to the Lions. Their defense produced turnovers and the Lions turned most of those turnovers into points as they went on to win the game, 79-40.
“We pushed the pace at both ends of the floor and that made a difference for us,” Fletcher said after the game. “We had a lot of guys taking the floor with the varsity for the first time. I think it took them a little time to settle down but they did. I am proud of how they played and this is a great way to start the season.”
Justin Cutter was the leading scorer for the Lions with 30 points, which included seven baskets from three-point range. Teammate Liam MacDonald helped the Lions cause with 17 points.
Cutter said it was a good game for the team and for him.
“We played strong defense and did it well,” he said. “On offense we moved the ball around, worked our plays and scored points.”
Cutter, who transferred to Littleton from ThunderRidge High School, said one of his strengths is his outside shooting. He added that he is working on also scoring by driving to the basket.
Littleton continues non-league play as the Lions were scheduled to face three opponents as they take part in the Dec. 6-9 Spartan Invitational Tournament at Berthoud High School. The Lions also will play a road game against crosstown rival Heritage on Dec. 12.
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