LITTLETON — Play defense, rebound, run and score — and repeat.
That was definitely the philosophy for Chatfield’s boys basketball team Tuesday night facing an athletic and dangerous Far Northeast squad. Chatfield (4-1 overall) used its defensive pressure and focus to control the boards on both ends of the court to run away with a 72-47 home victory.
“The press puts a toll on teams and that’s our goal, that’s our weapon,” said Chatfield senior Titus Reed, who finished with 17 points and double-digit rebounds. “They (Far Northeast) handled it in the beginning, but then teams get gassed and that is when we really take advantage.”
The Warriors (4-2) trimmed Chatfield’s lead to 15 points a minute into the second half, but a quick 13-0 run in the span of about two minutes pushed the Chargers’ lead to 52-25 midway through the third quarter.
“I was close to taking a timeout because I was not excited how we started the second half,” Chatfield coach Stephen Schimpeler admitted. “Good teams make plays and that is what we did in that situation. We found a way to make a play.”
Seniors Lucas St. Germain, Joe Miks, Mike Vrabel and Alex Beckley all scored during the run that pretty much put the game out of range for the Warriors. Seven different Chargers scored in the third quarter that ended with Chatfield leading 59-36.
“This is an incredibility mature senior class,” said Miks, who finished with a game-high 19 points. “We have a ton of composure. We don’t panic anymore. We’ve grown up a lot.”
The Chargers showed off their unselfishness on the offensive end with a balanced scoring attack.
Chatfield, ranked No. 10 in this week’s CHSAANow.com Class 5A boys hoops poll, came in with nearly five players averaging double-digit points through the Chargers first four games. Miks, Reed, Vrabel and junior Liam Mann all came in with more than 10 points per game. St. Germain was just under 10 points per contest.
Mann and Vrabel poured in nine points each while being key on the Chatfield’s team emphasis on controlling the boards.
“I was really pleased with how well we did on the board,” Schimpeler said. “Titus and Liam didn’t always get the rebound, but they always got a hand on it to keep it available. Rebounding was the key.”
Far Northeast’s Aaris Bonds led the way for the Warriors with 14 points. Bonds had six points in the first quarter, but made just one field goal the rest of the way.
“I love the competition,” Reed said of being matched up against Bonds. “He is a very good player. It was a pretty good match up.”
Reed is nearly averaging a double-double in points and rebounds through four games.
“Titus is playing at a whole different level right now,” Miks said. “Everyone knew he was good, but he is just shattering expectations. He is really the glue on our team. He gets boards. He is an inside presence we really need to get our guys going on the outside.”
Chatfield heads north to Fort Collins to face Fossil Ridge at 7 p.m. Thursday. The Chargers’ final game before winter break will be at Gateway next week.
Schimpeler said he is concerned about winter break. He has stressed to his players that staying in shape over the holidays will be key to keep the Chargers on pace to start the new calendar year.
“We are all expected to run on our own,” Reed said of the Chargers staying in condition over the winter break. “All of our players take that very seriously. This season means a lot to us. The first practice back will be tough. Coach will test us if we have run or not.”
Far Northeast hits the road again on Friday. The Warriors face Westminster in a 7 p.m. tipoff.