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NHS Girls Basketball Pulls Off Two Straight Wins

 

February 17, 2016



In order to keep their playoff hopes alive, the Niwot High School girls basketball team needed to go undefeated in their final four games of the season.

They are well on their way to accomplishing that goal after two big wins this past week. The Cougars won their final home game of the season against Thompson Valley, 54-44 last Tuesday, Feb. 9, then handled Mountain View on Thursday, Feb. 11, winning 47-34.

The victories boosted Niwot’s record to 13-8, with a 5-7 league record and two games remaining to try and get to .500 for the season in league play.

Head Coach Terri Ward said her team just needs to handle their business down in the final week in order to secure their spot in the post-season.

“Our goal was to split with everyone we lost to in the first round of league play,” Ward said. “Silver Creek and Longmont are done but we can still get Centaurus.”

In the game against Thompson Valley, the Cougars got some stellar play from seniors Keena Strope and Alyssa Jenkins. They combined for 20 points on the night and made it difficult for the Eagles to score inside. It was a fitting end to their final home game as Niwot players.

“Everyone did their job tonight, everyone did what they needed to do,” Ward said after their final home win of the season. “[Strope] did some smart things out there. When we play well on the defensive end, the team feels better on the offensive end.”

Sophomore Sophie Grant also had a fantastic night for the Cougars, scoring 16 points while hitting seven out of nine shots from the floor. Another sophomore, Mary Gillett, was awarded the Board of Directors Sportsmanship Medal after the game to honor her contributions to the team, both on and off the court.

To round out the great night for the sophomores, Alli Mercier, who introduced her sister Emily for the senior night festivities, had a great night, scoring six big points and getting two steals in the fourth quarter that all but sealed the game for Niwot.

“Grant was amazing, she was all over the place,” Ward said of her sophomore scorer. “Alli played really well at Longmont, and that gave her some confidence going forward. She had six points which were huge in the second half.”

Against Mountain View, it was yet again another stellar defensive performance that lifted the Cougars over the Mountain Lions.

Junior YY Chen was able to finally break the scoring slump she had been in the past few games and put up 13 points for Niwot with two 3-pointers. Jenkins led the team in scoring and had a double-double on the night with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Niwot did struggle from the free throw line however, only hitting 21-47, or 47 percent, from the foul line.

Ward said the best aspect that her team has is the fact that anyone can carry the team on any given night, and they are all very unselfish players.

“What I love about this team is they don’t care who’s on the floor, as long as when the buzzer goes off at the end of the fourth quarter and we have won,” Ward said of her team’s mentality.

“That makes us a true team.”

Going into their final week, the Cougars still have some work to do if they want to put a stamp on their season and ensure a spot in the post-season. They have a tough matchup against Centaurus, who they lost to the first time around, and then finish off their season with a game against Northridge.

“Our goal is to win out, and that should move us up to fourth place,” Ward said. “If we can get into fourth place in the conference I think we can be in the final 32 for the state.”

The away game against Centaurus is Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 5 p.m. and the game at Northridge is Friday, Feb. 19 at 6:30 p.m.

Thompson Valley 15 8 7 12 – 44

Niwot 13 11 11 19 – 54

Niwot: Alli Mercier 3 0-0 6, Rosie Setter 1 1-2 3, Emily Mercier 0 1-2 1, YingYing Chen 2 0-0 4, Mary Gillett 2 0-0 4, Alyssa Jenkins 5 5-6 15, Keena Strope 2 1-2 5, Sophie Grant 7 2-2 16. Totals 22 10-14 54.

3-point field goals – Niwot: Chen 0-1.

Rebounds – Niwot: Setter 5, E. Mercier 5, Gillett 2, A. Mercier 5, Jenkins 7, Strope 3, Grant 6.

Total fouls – Niwot: 12, Thompson Valley: 13.

Niwot 16 8 9 14 – 47

Mountain View 3 8 7 16 – 34

Niwot: Zoe Gonzales 2 0-1 4, Alli Mercier 0 0-0 0, Rosie Setter 0 0-2 0, Emily Mercier 1 0-2 2, YingYing Chen 4 2-3 13, Mary Gillett 1 3-8 5, Alyssa Jenkins 3 8-12 14, Keena Strope 1 4-6 6, Sophie Grant 0 3-8 3. Totals 12 21-45 47.

3-point field goals – Niwot: Chen 2-5, A. Mercier 0-1.

Rebounds – Niwot: Gonzalez 2, Setter 2, E. Mercier 5, Chen 6, Gillett 4, A. Mercier 3, Jenkins 12, Strope 2, Grant 2.

Total fouls – Niwot: 23, Mountain View: 29.

 

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