BERTHOUD — That was just a big old can of Nope.
With a chance to all but lock up the Tri-Valley League title on Tuesday night in Berthoud, the Holy Family Tigers laid an egg.
“They were a lot better than us today in all facets of the game,” said Tigers coach Ron Rossi, after his teams 54-37 setback to the Spartans. “I love the heart of my kids, they kept working and trying, but it just wasn’t going to happen tonight.
“They just outplayed us.”
Berthoud improves to 19-2 overall and 12-2 in the Tri-Valley with one week to play. The Tigers, 14-6, 11-2, have three games left in the finals 10 days of the regular season; starting with Windsor on Thursday night. Erie also has just two losses inside the league.
After a tight first quarter that saw the hosts up just 12-10, you got the sense that Berthoud had something special worked up.
And they did.
Their full court pressure gave the usually savvy ball-handling Tigers fits and created turnovers and even when Holy Family was able to get into a half court set, they never really looked comfortable.
Berthoud seized control of the game in the second quarter behind its trio of seniors Emily Cavey, Maddie Barcewski and Celsey Selland. They accounted for 15 of the Spartans 20 points in the quarter that helped them turn a tight game into a 32-18 halftime lead.
“It’s a wake-up call going into the playoffs, but we are still in first place,” Rossi said. “When you play in the NBA and you play so many games, even they are going to have a stinker of a game and we had a stinker of a game at the wrong time.”
The Tigers closed to within six points early in the third quarter at 31-25, but Berthoud answered right back with a 19-2 run to close out the quarter and with it, Holy Family’s chances.
“It’s always a learning experience and their will was a lot greater than ours was today,” said Rossi, whose team has two of its final three games on the road against Windsor and Skyline. “When we got to six, we knew we had to put the pedal to the metal, and what happened was that we let down and boom they go another run going back to double digits.”
The Spartans did a number defensively on the Tigers guards, limiting the combo of Tyler Whitlock and Alyssa Wells to just 13 points. Daniella Hren came off the bench and was the second leading scorer with seven points.
Cavey lead all scorers with 19 points and Selland chipped in with 11.
On a much more positive note, the Holy Family boys avenged their earlier loss to the Spartans with a decisive 53-34 victory. The Tigers came in sitting at No. 36 in the latest RPI rankings, a lumber that should improve in the coming days.
BERTHOUD 54, HOLY FAMILY 37
Holy Family (14-6, 11-2) 10 8 9 10 — 37
Berthoud (19-2, 12-2) 12 20 18 4 — 54
Holy Family — Tyler Whitlock 1 0-0 2, Dylan Sanders 1 2-2 4, Noelle Gardon 1 1-2 3, Alyssa Wells 2 6-6 11, Cecelia Aanerud 1 0-0 2, Daniella Hren 3 0-0 7, Makenna Bertsch 1 0-0 2, Jaelen Giron 0 0-1 0, Maggie Dooley 0 2-2 2, Abby Coufal 0 0-0 0, Makayla Salter 1 0-0 2, Mariah Quintana 1 0-0 2. Totals 12 11-13 37.
3-pt. goals — Holy Family (2): Wells, Hren.