Sailors prep for today's matchup against Trojans

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Longmont Trojans

Getting to know the Longmont Trojans

Record: 18-5 overall, 12-4 in the Northern Conference

Past 10: 8-2

Top players: Syd Donaldson, 16 points per game; Cade Kloster, 12 ppg; Tom Pane, 11 ppg; and David Edden, 10 ppg.

Common opponents: Longmont beat Skyline, 68-50, and Steamboat beat Skyline, 61-41, this season.

Key number: 1 - Longmont is 9-1 at home this year, its lone loss on Dec. 19 to Greeley West.

If you go

What: No. 6 Steamboat Springs at No. 3 Longmont

When: 6 p.m. today

Where: Longmont High School

Steamboat Springs boys basketball, 2008-09

— Thursday afternoon, the Longmont High School boys basketball team might as well have been a foreign team to Steamboat coach Luke DeWolfe.

DeWolfe, whose team beat Skyline, 61-41, in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs on Wednesday to advance to a 6 p.m. showdown today at Longmont, knew little if anything about the Trojans.

But as it has been all year, it's not really Longmont that DeWolfe is worried about.

Whether it's just confidence or, really, a lack of information, DeWolfe said at this point in the season it's how - not whom - you play.

"This game is going to hinge on if we can keep that defensive intensity and control the tempo," DeWolfe said. "For us, it's another good team, it's another step in the ladder and it's another team that we have to show up against and be ready to go."

Longmont comes into the game at 18-5 overall. The Trojans played in the tough Northern League and feature four players who average 10 or more points, including Syd Donaldson's 16 a game. Donaldson and David Edden, averaging 10 points a game, are transfers from England.

"We are very athletic," Longmont coach Jeff Kloster said. "My philosophy the last 18 years has been to be balanced and play team basketball. I don't like a program that just has one guy."

Skyline coach Brandon Knudsen, whose team lost to both teams, said although Steamboat Springs High School's defense gave his team trouble, he thinks Longmont's inside presence could be the difference in the game.

"I'd say Longmont, just with their athleticism, they're at their gym and the way they shoot the basketball and score the ball on the inside," Knudsen said after Wednesday's game. "I'd say Steamboat might have a tough time with that. But it will not be a blowout. It will be a close game."

If Steamboat has an advantage, it might be experience. This is the third trip to the state playoffs for seniors Nelson Brassell and Alex Wood. The previous two times, Steamboat made the Sweet 16.

DeWolfe said that leadership could turn the tide of game like this.

"Those guys set the tempo for our team," DeWolfe said. "Having those guys up top who understand and have been through this before, whether is was the Sweet 16 last year or the playoffs the year before, is huge. A benefit we have is having those seniors that have been there before."

The winner will play the winner of Moffat County and Golden on Friday at CSU-Pueblo, Metro State or at Manual High School in Denver. Locations of Sweet 16 games will be decided Sunday.

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