Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jocelyn Rowley
Sports@lhvc.com 

Girls Basketball: Niwot’s playoff chances fade

 

February 17, 2018

Photo by Jocelyn Rowley Sophie Grant brings the ball up court in transition against Thompson Valley on Feb. 8.

Late season woes continued for the Niwot girls basketball team, which dropped another two conference games last week, and were all but eliminated from post-season contention in spite of a Saturday night victory over Silver Creek.

On Feb. 6, the Cougars were blown-out at Mountain View 60-24, a stunning reversal from the earlier season matchup, won handily by Niwot. Then, two nights later, the Cougars squandered a 13-point third-quarter effort by Sophie Grant at Thompson Valley for their sixth loss in seven games.

Afterward the Thompson Valley loss, Niwot head coach Terri Ward struggled for explanation behind her squad’s inconsistency.

“They did a great job in the third quarter, then all of the sudden we stopped doing everything that we had done,” Ward said. “We weren’t making passes, we weren’t playing aggressive defense, we weren’t blocking out. We let [Thompson Valley] have 21.”

The Cougars did get a boost on Saturday when they beat visiting Raptors 35-34 on a last minute free-throw, a mirror image of their 39-37 losing effort against Silver Creek 10 days earlier. Unfortunately, it will be an uphill battle to regain ground lost in the playoff seeding following the consecutive conference losses before the regular season ends on Feb. 14. As of Feb. 11, Niwot was 51st in the RPI rankings, and would need to jump over three teams to advance to the post-season.

“Unfortunately, I think this kind of seals the deal,” Ward said after the Thompson Valley defeat. “I don’t think there’s a chance now. Stranger things have happened. If everybody above us starts really losing, maybe.”

Ward pinpointed her team’s unexpected 55-34 loss at Northridge on Jan. 23 as the turning point in the season.

“That Northridge loss really, really hurt us bad,” Ward said, adding that it was a clear blow to her players’ confidence. “It’s frustrating. We do things well at times, and then we don’t.”

Going into the last week of the season, the Cougars had a 9-12 overall record, and were 5-7 in the Northern League. As luck would have it, among their final opponents is league-leader Centaurus, which scored 41 first-quarter points in a 83-41 win over Mountain View on Feb. 8. Niwot wraps up the regular season on Feb. 14 at home against Northridge.

(2/6) — Mountain View 60, Niwot 24

Cougars (8-11, 4-6) 6 5 3 10 — 24

Mountain Lions (12-8, 8-3) 18 14 24 4 — 60

Sophie Grant 3 4-10 10, Lily Sieben, 1 0-0- 3, Rosie Setter 1 1-2 3, Marlow Baines, 1 1-2 1, Mary Gillett 1 1-2 3, Divya Bhat 1 0-0 2, Sophie Storz 0 2-4 2; Allie Colvin 0 0-2 0; Totals 7 9-22 24

3-point field goals — Sieben

(2/8) — Thompson Valley 55, Niwot 45

Cougars (8-12, 4-7) 9 8 17 11 — 45

Eagles (7-13, 4-7) 15 8 11 21 — 55

Sophie Grant 0 1-2 1, Allie Colvin 1 0-0 3, Rosie Setter 1 0-0 2, Marlow Baines, 4 0-0 8, Jaime Lee 1 0-0 3, Mary Gillett 5 3-7 13, Nikki Sims 1 0-0 3; Totals 14 4-9 35.

Photo by Jocelyn Rowley Jamie Lee dribbles around Thompson Valley defenders on Feb. 8.

3-point field goals — Lee

(2/10) Niwot 35, Silver Creek 34

Raptors (4-17, 3-9) 10 8 9 5 — 34

Cougars (9-12, 5-7) 6 10 8 10 — 35

3-point field goals — Colvin, Lee, Sims

 

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