Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jocelyn Rowley
sports@lhvc.com 

Girls: Short-handed Cougars fall to Thompson Valley & Centaurus

 

January 26, 2017



The Niwot girls basketball team has finally hit the wall. After losing several key veterans to injury, Coach Terri Ward is down to her last seven full-time varsity players, and the added minutes are taking their toll.

After surprising everyone with two short-handed wins the week before, the Cougars were clearly feeling the strain in the second full week of conference play. On Jan. 17, Niwot fell to the Thompson Valley Eagles 52-43, after being blown-out 17-6 in the final quarter.

“It’s just hard,” said Ward. “If you don’t have bodies, then if you get into foul trouble, it hurts you.”

Three Niwot players ended the game with four or more fouls on the night, including junior Sophie Grant and senior Y.Y. Chen. All told, the Cougars committed 20 fouls, the second highest total of the season. Ward admitted that sitting her top players really hampered the team’s late game performance last week.

“I don’t have a back-up point guard right now,” she said. “So when Y.Y. got into foul trouble, it made a huge difference.”

Junior Mary Gillett got into foul trouble early, limiting her effectiveness in the second half. She ended the game with just four points on the night, and went to the line just once.

“That really hurt us a lot,” said Ward, on the loss of the high-scoring Gillett.

Grant led the Cougars in scoring, with 13 points, despite the late foul trouble. She also had six rebounds and four deflections. Sophomore Zoe Gonzales had her fifth double-double of the season, with 12 points and a season-high 13 rebounds. Junior Allie Colvin had seven points and six rebounds, while Chen had three points and five rebounds.

The Cougars struggled again in their next contest, a road match against the 8-4 Centaurus Warriors. Just five Cougars managed to score in the 48-41 loss, and foul trouble for Gillett was also a factor late. Grant was again the Cougars’ top scorer, with 14 points, and Gonzales had nine. Colvin added six, while Chen and Gillett both chipped in with five.

Ward is hopeful her team will be able bounce back on Jan. 24 at home against the Northridge Grizzlies (4-9), who have yet to win a conference game. She is also hoping to see a bigger contribution on offense from her former JV players.

“Shelby Stevens and Mel Martinez are going to have to really step up,” said the coach. “Zoe can’t do everything.”

Ward is also hoping for a “get-well game” against Northridge, which might give her squad some momentum going into their next road game against a tough Greeley Central team on Jan. 27.

“Nobody in our league is unbeatable,” she said.

But Ward has also learned the lessons of this past week, and said winning all depends on keeping out of foul-trouble.

“Everybody’s got to play,” she said. “And everybody’s got to stay on the floor.”

(1/17) — Thompson Valley 52, Niwot 43

Niwot (7-6, 2-2) 13 11 13 6 — 43

Thompson Valley (5-5, 2-2) 13 13 9 17 — 52

Sophie Grant 4 5-7 13, Zoe Gonzales 4 4-7 12, Allie Colvin 2 2-6 7, Mary Gillett 2 0-1 4, YY Chen 2 0-0 3, Meah Ricciardello 1 0-0 2, Shelby Stevens 0 2-2 2, Totals 14 13-23 43

(1/19) — Centaurus 48, Niwot 41

Niwot (7-7, 2-3) 8 10 8 15 — 41

Centaurus (9-4, 5-1) 9 18 10 11 — 48

Sophie Grant 4 6-9 14, Zoe Gonzales 3 3-6 9, Allie Colvin 2 0-0 6, YY Chen 3 0-0 7, Mary Gillett 1 3-5 5, Totals 13 12-20 41

 

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