Bear Creek boys hoops rally to hand Hinkley its first loss

LAKEWOOD — Luis Miera has come home.

After three years at Alameda International and helping the Pirates to 18-7 record last year averaging 15.3 points per game, Miera transferred to Bear Creek High School to finish out his prep career.

Bear Creek senior Luis Miera (1) attempts to split Hinkley seniors Ja'Vevon Lee (10) and Jeremiah Taylor (20) during the Bears' 61-50 victory over the previously undefeated Thunderbirds. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

“He was a Bear Creek kid from the beginning,” Bear Creek’s boys basketball coach Will Gosch said about the transfer from Alameda. “He had to go live with another family member for awhile. The family in the Bear Creek community really turned it around and he had the opportunity to come back here to finish out his senior year at Bear Creek.”

Miera is the Bears’ leading scorer so far this season averaging 19.6 points per game. He poured in 15 points, including three 3-pointers Friday night as Bear Creek rallied from a double-digit deficit against Hinkley in the semifinals of the Bear Creek Invitational.

“I knew I was going to be a spark right away with this team,” Miera said. “I just try to get my guys going and pushing it.”

Miera and junior Liam Franks (16 points) pushed the Bears to a 61-50 victory over the previously undefeated Hinkley (4-1 record). The Thunderbirds jumped out to a 14-2 lead midway through the first quarter.

Bear Creek’s first field goal didn’t drop until Franks hit a 3-pointer with 2:50 left in the first quarter. Gosch said he felt the reason for the slow start against Hinkley was due to his team’s warm-ups being flat.

Hinkley junior Jeremiah Warren, right, guards Bear Creek senior Jason Levitt during the first quarter Friday night. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

“We are a young team with not a lot of varsity experience,” Gosch said. “We are really trying to take it one game and one day at a time. It took awhile to wake-up tonight.”

Bear Creek tightened up defensively and made a living at the free-throw line in the second half. Hinkley top two scorers — Jeremiah Taylor (18 points) and Jeremiah Warren (16 points) — both fouled out in the final minutes.

“This is a big win,” Miera said. “We dropped a game in Grand Junction last week that we knew we shouldn’t have lost. We went back to practice, back to the drawing board and came back strong.”

Bear Creek went 10-for-16 from the free-throw line in the final quarter and Franks scored seven points to seal the win.

“We are learning our roles and they know not one kid can beat a team out there,” Gosch said. “I think that fourth quarter it felt like everyone was contributing. That is really our system.”

The win advanced Bear Creek (4-1) to the tournament’s championship game 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

“It means a lot, especially being the defending champion,” Gosch said of getting back to the title game in the annual tournament the Bears host. “How cool it would be to go against Coach Pachner and Arapahoe?”

That is precisely what is on tap Saturday at Bear Creek High School. Gosch will face his old mentor Troy Pachner and Arapahoe. Gosch was an assistant coach under Pachner at D’Evelyn before Gosch took the helm of Bear Creek’s program.

Bear Creek senior Milosh Stupar (15) battles for a rebound against Hinkley on Friday night. The Bears battled back from a double-digit deficit to take a 61-50 victory. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)