Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jocelyn Rowley
Sports@lhvc.com 

Girls Basketball: Seniors power Niwot to big win over Mountain View

 

January 18, 2018

Jocelyn Rowley

Mary Gillett (13) and Sophie Grant (22) pause during the Cougars game against Mountain View. Niwot beat the Mountain Lions 62-46 on Jan. 11.

The Niwot girls basketball team played its best game of the season on Thursday, Jan.12, beating conference foe Mountain View 62-46 in a game Niwot head basketball coach Terri Ward called “fabulous.”

“They did everything I wanted them to do and more,” an elated Ward said after her team’s best offensive effort of the year. “We’ve had a good week. We’ve had a good 2018.”

After starting the season 0-4, Niwot has gone 4-2 to improve to 6-6 on the year, and is now 2-1 in conference play. On Jan. 9, the Cougars edged out cross-town rival Longmont 41-38 for their first Northern League win of the season.

“We are moving our way up to the top,” Ward said. In their five games since returning from holiday break, Niwot has scored an average of 46.4 points-per-game, up from 39.1 in December. “We’re playing much better basketball than when we played Greeley Central.”

Niwot’s core group of seniors—Mary Gillett, Sophie Grant, Rosie Setter, Allie Colvin— have been instrumental in the team’s recent success. While Gillett (9.8 ppg) and Grant (13 ppg) have been leading the charge on offense, averaging a combined 22.8 ppg in January, Colvin and Setter have played key roles in Niwot’s defensive strategy. And both had big scoring games last week, with Setter netting eight points against the Trojans, and Colvin with a career-high 15 against the Mountain Lions. The power forward ended the week with 23 overall, including three three-pointers.

“I feel most comfortable at the three,” said the former shooting guard. Her two threes against the Mountain Lions were part of a 25-point Niwot third-quarter onslaught. “Coach always says if it’s open and my feet are set to take it, and I didn’t see anyone around me, so I just popped it.”

Colvin was just one of the three seniors in double-digits for the Cougars against Mountain View. After going a season-high 8-10 from the free throw line, Gillett ended the night with a 18 points, and was also disruptive on defense, forcing turnovers and drawing fouls. Grant, meanwhile, had 18 points and eight total rebounds. Niwot also saw scoring from Setter, with four on the night, and sophomores Lily Seiben (4), and Marlow Baines (2). Collectively, the team went 19-28 (68%) from the line, and committed just 20 turnovers.

On the other side of the court, Niwot’s continuous defensive pressure kept the Mountain Lions off-balance all night. They were 16-for-69 from the floor (23 percent), and made just 9 percent from three-point range (2-of-23). High-scoring forward Raleigh Basart managed just seven points on the night, while senior Peyton Duke was just 1-of-12.

“Before the game, I told them that if they play the way they are capable of playing—good defense, being patient on offense, making our layups and our free throws, then this is a game they could have a whole heck of a lot of fun playing,” said Ward. “And they were all having fun. Our entire bench was into the game. That’s was huge for us.”

It was Setter’s fiery outing on Tuesday night that pushed the Cougars past long-time rival Longmont. Rallying Niwot from a slow start against the Trojans, the power forward came up big in the final minutes of the second quarter, bringing the Cougars to within three at the break, after being down by ten. She also had a team-leading nine rebounds, and generally caused trouble for Longmont’s offense late in the game.

“I’m definitely more defensively strong,” she said following the narrow win. “When I heard [from Coach Ward] that we were lacking in rebounds, I just wanted to make sure I was boxing out and getting them again. I wanted to make her proud and do what was best for the team.”

Ward said she prioritized defense ahead of the Longmont game, emphasizing rebounding and “active hands” to her players, who seemed to take the message to heart. Niwot had 17 deflections, six steals, and five blocks, and committed just 18 turnovers, the lowest total of the year by a substantial margin. Grant ended the night with 13 points, despite going just 3-for-11 from the line, while Colvin had eight points and Gillett had five.

“I thought the kids did a really good job of listening and doing what they needed to do in critical situations,” she said. “When we told them they need to come out and lock down and play defense, they came out and locked down and played defense.”

The Cougars host Thompson Valley (4-7, 1-3) on Jan. 16, then league-leading Centaurus (10-3, 3-1) on Jan. 18

(1/9) —Niwot 41, Longmont 38

Cougars (5-6, 1-1) 7 10 7 17 — 41

Trojans (2-7, 0-2) 14 6 11 7 — 38

Jocelyn Rowley

Senior Allie Colvin (1) moves into position against Mountain View.

Sophie Grant 5 3-11 13, Allie Colvin 3 1-2 8, Rosie Setter 4 0-0 8, Mary Gillett 2 1-7 5, Marlow Baines 2 0-1 4, Jaime Lee 1 0-0 3, Nikki Sims 0 0-1 0; Totals 17 5-18 41.

(1/11) —Niwot 62, Mountain View 46

Mountain Lions (7-6, 3-1) 6 7 20 13 — 46

Cougars (6-6, 2-1) 11 13 25 13 — 62

Mary Gillett 5 9-10 19, Sophie Grant 5 8-9 18, Allie Colvin 6 1-4 15,Lily Sieben 2 0-0 4,Rosie Setter 1 2-3 4, Marlow Baines 1 0-0 2, Jaime Lee 0 0-2 0; Totals 20 19-28 62.

 

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