Officially, the postseason started Wednesday for Cheyenne’s boys basketball team.
The Desert Shields, though, have spent the past two weeks playing as though the postseason already had started.
It led to an extremely focused effort in the first half.
Cheyenne hardly missed in the first half on its way to an 88-79 win at Faith Lutheran in the second round of the Mountain Region playoffs. The Desert Shields (12-14) will visit Legacy (16-10) in a quarterfinal at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
“We’ve been taking on the mindset that we’ve been in the playoffs for the last two weeks, and what that’s really about is playing with a sense of urgency and a sense of focus, mental more than physical,” said Cheyenne coach Teral Fair. “Guys were just dialed in, locked in.”
Cheyenne made 17 of 27 shots in the first half. Of the 10 misses, five led to second-chance baskets as the Desert Shields built a 43-27 halftime lead.
“Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve changed up our offense,” Fair said. “We had been taking a lot of perimeter shots. Now we’re a lot more interior-driven.”
If not for eight second-half turnovers, the Desert Shields likely would have had a larger lead.
Cheyenne also did well to disrupt the Crusaders’ offense in the first half. Faith Lutheran leading scorer Brevin Walter, who averages 18.8 points, had two points in the first half.
“The kids did a really good job of executing our defensive game plan,” Fair said.
Cheyenne ran its lead to 69-46 after three quarters before Faith Lutheran (17-9) cut it to 85-79 on Walter’s left-corner 3-pointer with 19 seconds to play. Cheyenne’s Mike Reed and Glenn Taylor made 3 of 4 free throws in the final 15.2 seconds.
Taylor poured in 34 points on 12-for-19 shooting to lead Cheyenne. Tommie Lindsey added 18 points. Reed scored 15 and Damion Bonty added 13 points for Cheyenne.
Donavan Jackson led the Crusaders with 20 points. Walter added 18 points and Sedrick Hammond scored 17 for Faith Lutheran.
Contact reporter Bartt Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-4690.