This was no parade to the foul line. No chunk points in garbage time. Instead, Maurice Austin’s 50-point performance Tuesday night was tailored perfectly to a career Pueblo South was smart to already enshrine.

Less than a week after the school retired the reigning Class 5A player of the year and scoring champ’s No. 24 jersey, the 5-foot-8 senior added to his much bigger high school legacy with a career-best shooting performance in a 71-68 win over basketball-power Lewis-Palmer Tuesday night.

Taking the cue from Austin, our first week looking at big-school basketball will dive into a few impressive starts from players and teams across the 6A-4A classifications.

Class 6A

Kyle Blauch, Boulder: This could be a special season for the Panthers, who haven’t reached the playoffs since 2019-20. Their 6-foot-7 big man is showing signs of that possibility early.

Blauch leads the classification in rebounds per game (12.6) and is second in scoring (23.6) through Boulder’s 4-1 start. His team’s lone loss of the season was a 79-70 defeat to defending champ Denver East and that was despite his monster 38-point, 11-rebound performance.

ThunderRidge: The Grizzlies fell back to earth last season, getting bounced in the first round after they’d won titles in the previous two seasons.

Those who watched HBO’s The Wire know Stringer Bell energy when they see it. Might as well be coach Joe Ortiz saying, “I want you to get the word out that we back up.”

The Wire, a show about the pulse of Baltimore and those on either side of the law, is a good watch. As are the Grizzlies. They’ve started the year 7-2 and 5-0 against in-state teams.

Seniors Charlie Spann (15.5 PPG), Tommy Wight (14.9) and Andrew Crawford are all averaging double figures. Wight had 25 and Spann 24 in their 68-59 win against Overland Wednesday, their fourth straight win.

Class 5A

Maurice Austin, Pueblo South: To the delight of his home fans, Maurice Austin (or as his teammates and coaches call him, “Mo”) made 21 of his team’s 28 field goals, all which were from inside the arc, and eight of its 11 free throws as the Colts rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Rangers for their third straight win.

Prior to Tuesday, Austin, who is now in his fourth year as a starter for the Colts, had surpassed 40 points in a game just twice in his high school career. Both were against Pueblo Centennial and came in a span of three weeks last season in wins of 58 and 40 points.

This was different. Austin’s latest milestone came three days after he put up 35 points in a 67-58 win over CHSAA preseason 5A No. 1 Mesa Ridge. Lewis-Palmer was ranked fourth by CHSAA prior to the season, the Colts 10th.

It was Pueblo South’s first win over L-P since 2015.

Silver Creek: Raptors coach Bob Banning probably doesn’t get the recognition he deserves around the state. His teams have finished with a winning record in nine of the past 10 seasons (the outlier: a 12-12 2018-19) and have 14 straight postseason appearances.

Banning was masterful in turning over the roster a year ago. The Raptors reached the 5A second round behind breakout star senior Zach Schmeeckle, who averaged 20.3 PPG in his first and only season on varsity.

This year, it looks like he’s doing it again as his Raptors are currently 5-0. Ashoka Surkhang and Gabe Selby are averaging 15.2 PPG. Luke Schmeeckle is just behind them at 14.5.

Silver Creek has outscored its first six opponents by a combined 167 points.

Class 4A

Lincoln: Remember, the Lancers are two seasons removed from a 1-22 campaign.

But here they are, winning again.

Following a 12-11 finish a year ago, the Lancers have won seven of their first eight games. Senior Mahamud Jumale has been spectacular and is among the nation’s top 100 scorers this winter, averaging 25.4 PPG.

Jumale hasn’t been held below 20 points since their season opener and is shooting 60% from the field. He had 31 points, going 13 of 16 on Wednesday as Lincoln beat Alameda 60-27.

Jacob Dallas, Denver West: Things having to do with Dallas and Cowboys are trending well in the last few weeks.

Dallas has led these Cowboys to a 6-0 start this winter, averaging 19.0 PPG on 56% shooting.

A model of consistency in his first five games, he scored 24 in two games and 18 in the other three. Early in the month, he notched a triple-double (a rarity even more so in the high school game) with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 13 steals in a 54-37 win over Lincoln.

Denver West’s 6-0 open is the program’s best start to a season since at least prior to the 2005-06 campaign.