BROOMFIELD — For a lengthy stretch in the early part of the last decade, the Holy Family versus Broomfield girls basketball games were must watch games.
Two of the more dominant programs that have combined to win 12 titles under their respective coaches — Ron Rossi and Mike Croell — met again on Friday night and the highly competitive series had never seen one like this. The visiting Tigers shook off a tough opening loss at Lutheran earlier in the week with an impressive 62-21 rout of the Class 5A Eagles.
“We’ve had a couple of close game where they have got us and we have got them, but never anything like this,” said Rossi, whose team actually trailed 5-0 in the early going. “We had something to prove after a game that wasn’t typical of us. Because we are a very good defensive club and that first game out was the first game, kind of like a scrimmage.”
But with the knowledge that the shortened season — just 14 games over a quick four week stretch — and the emphasis on wracking up wins, Rossi’s team put the pedal to metal on Friday night and made a statement.
The Tigers showed off their length and aggressiveness in the press and turned Broomfield over over a dozen times in the first half and made the Eagles pay in transition. The shots that weren’t dropping on Wednesday night, were this night and 10 players scored of the 11 that played and they were led by senior Tyler Whitlock’s 18 points. Alyssa Wells chipped in with 11 and Dylan Sanders finished with 8.
“It was more about us getting back on track than anything to do with the coach and we had to get back on track to playing Holy Family defense,” said Rossi, whose team will host Riverdale Ridge on Tuesday afternoon. “This team was a very good defensive team last year as we went down the stretch and we wanted to establish the same kind of intensity, and they played with that intensity today.”
In the first game of the night, the Holy Family boys took a slim 32-30 lead to the fourth quarter, but the the miscues, turnovers and all-around sloppy play doomed them in the fourth and they fell to 0-2 with a 52-42 loss to Broomfield.
“From start to finish, it was pretty ugly,” Tiers coach Pete Villecco said. “I thought we had some open looks in the first half and we just couldn’t hit the shots. And when you are not making shots, there really isn’t a lot of space out there.
“We have a lot of young guys and they pressed a little bit and that led to a lot of our turnovers.”
Holy Family got back into it in third quarter behind Connor Cooney. The senior, known for his defensive pressure, finished with a team high 13 points, including four points in a five second stretch in the third after a lay-in, steal on the inbounds and lay-in sequence that drew Holy Family even late in the period.
But the Tigers looked out of sorts in the final eight minutes and just couldn’t find the rhythm or the momentum in the fourth that carried them in the third. Jackson Ward finished with 12 points and Blake Hammond had 11 in the losing effort.
Villecco knows the potential is there with his young group and understands that is just may take a little time. “You see glimpses and we saw glimpses on Wednesday at Lutheran. We won the third quarter (tonight) by seven, so there are some small wins there. These young guys want to do well, but it is a funky time and they are excited to play and they are putting pressure on themselves. So we are learning and we know that there are going to be a lot of peaks and valleys in this season. The valley’s are where you grow and this was a valley tonight.”
With the win, the Eagles maintained control of the Gryphon Trophy that was created by Broomfield coach Terrance Dunn to award to the winner of the rivalry each season.
BROOMFIELD 52, HOLY FAMILY 42
Holy Family (0-2) 9 11 12 10 — 42
Broomfield (1-1) 11 14 5 22 — 52
Holy Family — Eric Quintana 0 0-0 0, Gabriel Tafoya 1 1-1 3, Blake Hammond 3 5-7 11, Connor Cooney 4 5-11 13, Rocco Bridges 0 0-0 0, Thomas Fritchen 0 0-0 0, Grauden Harkness 1 0-0 3, Jackson Ward 6 0-1 12, Brandon Pierret 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 11-20 42.
3-pt. goals — Holy Family: Harkness. Fouled out — Cooney, Ward.
HOLY FAMILY 62, BROOMFIELD 21
Holy Family (1-1) 17 12 18 15 — 62
Broomfield (0-2) 7 6 1 7 — 21
Holy Family — Mariah Quintana 1 0-0 2, Tyler Whitlock 7 3-6 18, Dylan Sanders 3 0-2 8, Julia Hodell 1 2-3 4, Essynce Contreraz 1 1-2 4, Daniella Hren 1 1-2 4, Alyssa Wells 4 0-3 11, Makenna Bertsch 0 2-4 2, Cecelia Aanerud 2 2-5 6, Abigail Cougal 1 0-0 3, Maggie Dooley 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 11-27 62.
3-pt. goals — Holy Family: Wells 3, Sanders 2, Whitlock, Contreaz, Hren, Coufal.