Posted On: 12/4/18 2:10 PM

On Monday night, the Broomfield and Manual boys kicked off the annual Fairview Festival early-season tournament at Fairview High School. It was an feeling-out game between a Broomfield team that graduated seven seniors from last year’s team that received a first-round bye in the Class 5A state tournament and a Manual team that won 16 games in 2017-18 and features senior Jaedon Bowles, one of the top players in Colorado. Manual pulled away late to win 66-56 but the close contest revealed plenty about both teams.

Jaedon Bowles is rounding into form

The 6-foot-5 combo guard has received plenty of attention over the past several years for his above-the-rim athleticism. He has the physical tools to play at the next level but Boles remains without an offer. He plans to spend his senior campaign continuing to demonstrate the steady improvement in a number of areas that he began to show at the Prep Hoops Top 250 in September. In the Thunderbolts’ season opener, Bowles scored 22 points but also shot 40 percent from 3-point range, went 8 for 8 from the free-throw line, and also finished the game with 12 rebounds, five assists and two blocks. Particularly later in the game, Bowles also demonstrated a patience that helped his team play more efficiently and pull away to win.

Broomfield has a potential-laden lineup

The Eagles have a lot of roles to fill and have plenty of chemistry to build. They are 0-2 but their losses are to Manual and 4A defending state champion Longmont. But by the end of the season, they should be just fine. One big reason for assuming Terrence Dunn’s Eagles will put it together is that they have plenty of physical tools to work with. Rostering 11 players who are six feet tall or taller, and five between 6-3 and 6-8, the Eagles have length and athleticism. They also have 6-foot-3 lefty point guard, coach’s son and quarterback Steven Croell running a show that features several strong shooters and the ability to play outstanding defense.

The Manual Thunderbolts aren’t just the Bowles Show

Jaedon Bowles is Manual’s top prospect but the Thunderbolts won with a team effort on Monday. Long and athletic senior forward Adontre Thompson (6-5) certainly did his part with 22 points and 15 rebounds, while making all 11 of his field-goal attempts. Slashing guard Jaden Stoffell scored 10 points on 4-for-9 shooting including a pair of 3-pointers. Quick-footed guard Davion Davis scored 10 points while setting up his teammate effectively.

Broomfield must clean it up in clutch moments

The Eagles trailed the Thunderbolts by just five points at halftime and cut the lead to two points with two minutes remaining in the game. They had a chance to tie the game or take the lead but instead allowed Manual to score eight straight points – six off three straight turnovers – and fell too far behind to keep pace. “We have the talent,” Eagles head coach Terrence Dunn said. “We just have to put it together and play better as a team.”

There’s no shortage of quality play at the Fairview Festival

In the opening round of the tournament, it wasn’t just the Manual boys who shined. Arvada West showed why many think the Wildcats could be a top 16 team in 5A with a 64-38 win over Castle View, in which senior Josh Rogers hit five 3-pointers and scored a game-high 27 points. Horizon also took down Denver South, 67-49, and host Fairview looked sharp in a 64-46 win over Ralston Valley. For the knights, both point guard Henry Blackburn and forward Jalen Page were solid again after the pair combined for 41 points in a two-point, double-overtime loss to then-No. 2 Chaparral on Nov. 30.