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By Jocelyn Rowley
Sports@lhvc.com 

Girls Basketball: Resurgent Cougars top Skyline in overtime for first win

 

December 22, 2017

Jocleyn Rowley

Senior Rosie Setter secures the the ball away from Skyline's Bailey Emanuel.

After a shaky 0-4 start to the season, the Niwot girls basketball team finally got a tick in the win column Dec. 12  with a dogged overtime victory over cross-town rival Skyline. Senior Mary Gillett had a season-high 22 points in the win, while Rosie Setter led the defensive charge with seven rebounds, three blocks, and three deflections.

“We needed a win in the worst way, and we got it,” Niwot head basketball coach Terri Ward said after her team snapped its four-game skid. “We didn’t play perfectly by any stretch of the imagination, and they know they didn’t play perfectly, but they still know they did enough to win, and that’s what we needed to have happen.”

Gillett and Setter set the tone early on for the Cougars, who were coming off a 74-17 drubbing at the hands of Greeley Central in their previous game. After averaging just 4.2 first-quarter points in their first four games, Niwot reversed course against Skyline and jumped out to a 10-2 lead after the first five minutes. Though the Falcons eventually found their footing and closed the gap, Niwot’s clear improvements in rebounding and transition defense kept them from falling into a deep hole in the first half.  

An energetic Cougar squad regained the lead by the end of the third quarter, thanks to sophomores Nikki Sims and Lily Sieben, who combined for seven of Niwot’s 11 points. That set the stage for late game heroics from Gillett, who tied the game at 38 after drawing a foul on a breakaway layup attempt with less than 20 seconds to go. She then dominated overtime, scoring all five of Niwot’s points in the 43-40 win.

“I thought our play down the stretch was really, really good in the sense that they really, really did listen,” said Ward. “The kids did a great job when we were doing some offensive-defensive things, switching kids in and out. We’re still turning the ball over too much, but that comes with having inexperienced point guards.”

Niwot committed a season-high 43 turnovers against the Falcons, but the effect was mitigated by solid defensive pressure by the Cougars, who also had season-high totals in blocks (6) and steals (14). They also had offensive contributions from eight different players, including sophomore center Marlow Baines, who also had three blocks and a deflection. Sieben ended the night with a season-high six points in the game, while Sims had five, including Niwot’s lone three-point basket of the night.

“It was really satisfying to see our team finally come together, which I think is the biggest thing that’s been lacking,” said senior forward Setter following the game. “We trusted each other on the floor, which was a huge component in the win.”

As for her team’s offensive effort, Setter spreading the scoring around was the key to overcoming the absence of Sophie Grant, a top-scorer for Niwot who was out with a concussion. “We don’t have one individual player who outshines us all. Even if someone’s out or someone has fouls or someone’s injured, we can come together and still make up the points that were lacking.”

As both Setter and her coach predicted, the win provided a “huge” psychological boost to the Cougars, who three nights later fell just short of beating the undefeated Berthoud Spartans. Back in the lineup, Grant led the team with 27 points, while Gillett and Setter combined for another 26 in the narrow 62-60 loss.

The Cougars go up against the undefeated Skyview Wolverines (6-0) for their last game of the year on Dec. 20 at the Pepsi Center. The team is off for the holidays, and will be back on the court Jan. 4 at the Roughrider Invitational at Roosevelt H.S.  

(12/12) —Niwot 43, Skyline 40 (OT)

Falcons (3-3, 0-0) 9 7 9 13 2 — 40

Cougars (1-4, 0-1) 11 4 11 12 5 — 43

 Mary Gillett 7 8-18 22, Lily Sieben 2 2-2 6, Nikki Sims 2 0-0 5, Marlow Baines 1 0-0 2, Rosie Setter 1 0-0 2, Sophie Storz 1 0-0 2, Allie Colvin 2 2-5 0, Jaime Lee 2 2-2 0, Elise Gillett 0 0-1 0, Divya Bhat 0 0-0 0; Totals 14 13-26 43.

Jocleyn Rowley

Sophomore Marlowe Baines boxes out against Skyline on Dec. 12.

(12/15) — Berthoud 62, Niwot 60

Spartans (8-0, 0-0)      14 24 11 13 — 62

Cougars (1-5, 0-1)         18 15 12 15 — 60

 Sophie Grant 8 11-15 27, Mary Gillett 6 3-13 15, Rosie Setter 5 1-2 11, Allie Colvin 2 0-0 4, Marlow Baines 1 1-1 3, Jaime Lee 0 0-0 0,  Lily Sieben 0 0-0 0, Nikki Sims 0 0-0 0,  Sophie Storz 0 0-0 0; Totals 22 16-31 60.

 

 

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