Ball Fever: Catching up with boys basketball stars Kenny Foster and Luke O'Brien

(Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

Welcome back, hoop fans! The mid-week report was full of action and we saw one of the great performances of the season from Kenny Foster who went for 39 points, 14 rebounds, and 8 assists in a TRIPLE OVERTIME win for Smoky Hill.

We were reminded by our Twitter followers that it's time to start the "Ball Fever Chat" back up and Kenny had to be one of our first after a performance like that!

With Foster being a Wyoming commit we better catch up with a CU Buff commit as well! The Fever Crew also took a little time to catch up with Columbine outstanding junior Luke O'Brien.

Let's see what these ballers had to say about the early season and how Week 3 played out.

The Look Back

Thursday, Dec. 13

Sand Creek Sierra boys basketball

(Dan Mohrmann/CHSAANow.com)

  • Javonte Johnson continued his incredible early season pace with 25 points, 6 rebounds in Cheyenne Mountain's 15-point win over Pueblo Centennial in the Pueblo East Coaches Classic tourney.
  • How about 25 points for Kaleb Atherly and a 25-point second quarter from the Trojans in A Central's Ralston Valley Round Up win over Westminster?
  • Columbine is beginning to earn votes in our 5A Top 10 poll and a 74-40 win over Grand Junction certainly won't diminish their chances of busting in! Our Ball Fever "chat" interviewee this week, Luke O'Brien, the picture of consistency again with 17 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals!
  • Discovery Canyon joined our 4A poll this week at No. 9 but Palmer made a rude visit to the Thunder's house winning big on the road led by senior Isaiah Robinson's 22 point night.
  • Top-10 5A action here and some sweet Rangeview highlights here. But not enough for the Raiders on the road at No. 5 Grandview who won at the last second despite Chris Speller and Jodaun Dotson combining for 25 points. Video of junior guard Lian Romero (7 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals) hitting the game winner here:

  • Three seniors in double figures for Regis in the tight, last second win over George Washington 67-66, led by Daniel Carr's 28 point, 10 rebound double-double for the Raiders. GW's super soph Kendale Johnson scored 19 points, with 5 rebounds and 2 steals in the tough loss.
  • Fountain-Fort Carson got 23 points, 5 rebounds from Keyshawn Maltbia but not enough as Poudre continues to roll and impress early winning this one late by 1-point.
  • Baseball stud Brady Renck poured in 18 points to keep 4A No. 2 Longmont unbeaten with a 5-point win over Glenwood Springs.
  • Sand Creek fourth quarter explosion leads the charge vs. the Stallions!
  • Conifer "en fuego" from the three point line draining TWELVE from behind the arc ending their losing streak to D'Evelyn. Dennis Pleuss with full story and highlights.

Friday, Dec. 14

(Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

  • Four players in double figure scoring led to 93 overall points for Fountain-Fort Carson with James Sanders 22 leading all scorers over at the Columbine tournament.
  • Arvada West opening eyes and picking up a couple votes in our Top 10 poll continue strong play with the duo of Taylor Kline and Josh Rogers combining for 26 points in the 12-point win at Lakewood.
  • Rock Canyon prepping for out-of-state play in Florida and tuned up with Grant Figueroa's 23 point, 10 rebound double-double effort in the 24-point win over Monarch.
  • Mullen goes into Valor in a battle of two top private schools and gets an impressive 70-65. Junior Roger Rosengarten had a strong 21 point 8 rebound effort for the Eagles in the loss. A 24-14 third quarter advantage did the trick for the Mustangs.
  • Cameron Dean's 13 points along with junior star Luke O'Brien's 23 point, 11 rebound double-double was more than enough for Columbine who handed a hot Poudre team their first loss by 32! We see Columbine has added some fire power in a sophomore name Trevaughn Williams who has missed a lot of time due to injury but looks ready to make his mark.
  • Mountain Vista's strong early play vs. a tough schedule was recognized by our poll and they jumped in at No. 7 in 5A. They definitely showed they belong with a 7-point home win over No. 9 Eaglecrest with Ben Grusing going OFF for 29 points and still found time to hand out 4 assists! Be ready if you find these Eagles on your schedule...
  • Overland's early ultra TOUGH schedule continues! The Fever Crew impressed in person by Hezekiah Swanson, who scored 22 points, and big Ike Graham who added in 13 points as the Trailblazers attempted to take down No. 1 Chaparral but the inside/out tandem of Kobe Sanders and Bryce Matthews combined for 40 points as the top ranked Wolverines held on by 4.
  • ThunderRidge, No. 2 in 5A, was busy this night as well with big man Austin Holt scoring 14 along with up and coming soph Noland Marold putting in 13 of his own in the home win over Boulder.
  • Carter Sturgeon score 17 points for Arapahoe in the annual battle vs. neighbor Heritage but the Warriors dug an early hole and despite having a great look from "3 point land" that would have won it Heritage gets to storm the court in this one winning 55-53 at home.
  • Four players in double figures and another double-digit win as a different senior, Beck Page, led No. 2 Longmont to lopsided win over Littleton with 20 points.
  • Top-10 4A action down south and Cheyenne Mountain got physical with Pueblo East.
  • Arvada West, 5-1, after defensive effort in preview of new 5A Jeffco

Saturday, Dec. 15

George Washington Smoky Hill boys basketball

(Jeff Tucker/jefferywtucker.zenfolio.com)

Ball Fever "Chat" with Kenny Foster of Smoky Hill: Fresh off a 39 point, 14 rebound, 8 assist "MONSTA" double-double performance in a triple overtime game the Fever Crew had to catch up with 2019 G Kenny Foster (Wyoming commit) who is also averaging 26 points, 5 assists, 7 rebounds, 1 assists and 1 block per game.

Now that's consistent "utility knife" style work for a young man who can do a bit of it all for No. 3 Smoky Hill.

Foster says his senior year is "going great" and he is adjusting to his role as senior leader: "It's a young squad and all these guys are willing to learn and not only challenge themselves but challenge me as well is great experience."

There's a ton of pressure on Foster to perform on a high level night in and night out but he's proven on the CO high school court and in tournaments on the national level that he's more than capable of stepping up!

On pressure off his back is the decision to attend Wyoming University in the fall: "Choosing between Wyoming, Pepperdine, and UC Davis was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make. Three phenomenal staffs but Wyoming felt like the best fit."

One thing for sure is we found out quickly Foster is confident about what he wants and that's a basketball future, "The feeling of the team and staff was terrific," he said. "I believed that Wyoming will give me the best opportunity for basketball beyond college. I trusted my gut and put my faith in God."

The Fever crew has faith that Foster will continue to be a solid leader for the young Buffaloes and Wyoming has a solid young man coming their way!

Smoky started fast in their Saturday match vs. Valor 21-14 in the first quarter and never relinquished the lead in a tough place to earn road wins, especially by 14!

Ball Fever "Chat" with Luke O'Brien of Columbine: The Fever Crew caught up with the Rebels' "go-to" guy in junior Luke O'Brien (CU 2020 Commit). In two of the three Columbine Classic wins was his usual "stat-stuffin" self with double-doubles.

O'Brien, who committed to CU Boulder early, said, "I didn't shoot the 3 well in the Classic but I found other ways to contribute. Our team is finding our groove and defense was great the entire tournament."

Regarding his new role as a team leader O'Brien points to his genuine love of teammates making the new role easier: "Big step for me but I feel like I'm ready and really earned it. I love my teammates and wouldn't want to be on any other team."

About his decision to commit early to the CU Buffs program: "A lot of people thought waiting would have been better, but the CU staff and me being comfortable in the environment made CU a perfect situation for me."

We get the feeling Luke has some pressure off his shoulders now that college decision is made and he's focused on "shocking some teams" this year with his current high school mates!

By the way, that's now FIVE in a row for 5-1 Columbine and they go 3-0 in the 7th annual Columbine Classic.

In other action on Saturday:

  • This young man is going to make us sound like a broken record but Javonte Johnson is on an absolute tear early for No. 5 Cheyenne Mountain and he rocked a "stat-stuffin" performance of 39 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal in the 12-point win over Pueblo County.
  • No. 2 Longmont finished the trifecta of blow out wins this week 3, this time over Berthoud with all 12 players on the roster getting in on the stat sheet! Balance.
  • Fossil Ridge took on the challenge of the Power To Play Challenge and senior Zack Crane's 24 points, 9 rebounds helped earn the 7-point win over Campbell County out of Gillette Wyoming.
  • One of those low scoring Broomfield/Holy Family slug fests but No. 3 Holy Family was able to take the fourth quarter advantage 14-8 winning by that 6-point advantage.
  • No. 5 Grandview seems to be playing all close ones lately and the pull off another late in the game by 4 on the road at Doherty.
  • Sophomore Julian Hammond now averaging 21 points per game scored his average again and junior Sebastian Cole added 17 in another overtime thriller and Cherry Creek is keeping it very interesting early on! In this one Hammond was double teamed late in OT but found Jake Lafebre who hit the tough 3 to win it!

[dividere]

The Look Ahead

Monday, Dec. 17

  • Discovery Canyon vs. Canon City southern action...
  • Castle View 7-2 vs. Greeley West 6-1
  • Evergreen vs. Conifer
  • Bear Creek vs. Liberty
  • Tuesday, Dec. 18
  • Pueblo West vs. Widefield
  • Douglas CO vs. Chatfield
  • Arvada West vs. Fossil Ridge both playing well!
  • Columbine/Legend, someone has to get loss No. 2...
  • Eaglecrest vs. Fairview

Wednesday, Dec. 19

  • It's Tarkanian Classic Time Las Vegas! Grandview & No. 1 Chap both on Day!
  • No. 3 Smoky welcomes Regis!
  • Longmont & Discovery Canyon in Top 4A Action!
  • Lincoln in Tarkanian Classic Vegas action as well...
  • Aurora Central/Hinkley A-Town braggin' rights!

Thursday, Dec. 20

  • Overland and Rangeview's turn to rep in Vegas today! Tark Classic...
  • Mountain Vista vs. Vista Ridge
  • Doherty vs. Cherokee Trail
  • Legend vs. Fairview
  • Denver East evening Tark Vegas Action!
  • Fossil Ridge/Fort Collins north battle...
  • Green Mountain vs. Mullen
  • No. 1 Lewis-Palmer vs. Pueblo East!
  • Tourney Time: TJ tries Creek!
  • T-Ridge traveling vs. Pembroke Florida...
  • Rock Canyon vs. power St. Thomas Aquinas, FL action!
  • GW gets the Vegas lists late game at Tark Classic...

Friday, Dec. 21

  • Good 4A stuff, Pueblo West/Holy Family
  • 5A studs Eaglecrest vs. Regis
  • Columbine vs. Highlands Ranch!
  • Smoky Hill high flyin' vs. Northglenn
  • Cheyenne Mountain vs. Coronado

Saturday, Dec. 22

  • 1pm at Vista Peak to see No. 1 Lewis-Palmer "ain't bad!"
  • Tons of tournament action we'll update via Twitter & CHSAANow.com

So much ball to enjoy from the athletes...how could our focus be anywhere else! Get out and enjoy the final hoops of 2018, folks!