NHS girls hoops nets 3rd win vs. Skyline


February 8, 2023

Chris Teta

The Niwot girls basketball team lines up before the start of the game against Skyline.

Showing great poise and determination, Niwot High School's young varsity girls basketball squad picked up its third win of the season on Feb. 2 with a hard-fought 41-31 victory over cross-town rival Skyline High School. The Cougars suffered two lop-sided losses in their other two games last week, losing to Severance High School, 75-13, and to Thompson Valley High School, 60-14.

With similar records coming into Thursday's Skyline game, both teams were well-matched.

The Niwot Community Semi-Marching Free Grange Band was on hand to pump up the crowd with a female-themed set of tunes, including Devil With the Blue Dress, Good Golly Miss Molly, Sweet Georgia Brown, and Brown-Eyed Girl.

Skyline jumped to an early lead but strong passing and solid ball-handling by Cougar point guard Rose Pacheco combined with an exceptional inside game by junior Molly Slupik and field goals and free throws from freshman Ella Zechman turned the score around.

Pacheco wore her trademark gray Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers, black knee pads and a nose guard necessitated by her injury against Riverdale last week. Her steady charge upcourt allowed her to pass, penetrate and occasionally draw the foul.

Niwot started behind at the end of the first quarter, but gradually chipped away at Skyline's lead beginning with a nice pass by Tiffany Yie to Peyton Rhodes, who sank it just as time ran out at the end of the first half, 20-19

Bruce Warren

The Niwot Community Semi-Marching Free Grange Band performed as a pep band for the Niwot High School basketball teams Feb. 2.

The band continued its tribute to women with an audience participation rendition of Sweet Caroline at halftime. The Cougars kept up the pressure in the second half, gradually increasing their lead. After a foul down the stretch, Madison Ackerman nailed both of her free throws, stretching the lead to 35-26. Niwot never looked back with a 41-31 victory.

After the win, Coach Jon Hill said, "The kids played extremely hard and believed they were the better team. We had a lot of excuses why we shouldn't have won, between ineligibles and injuries, but still found a way. Molly Slupik played the best game of her career on both ends, and Rose Pacheco, the team's leader in scoring (8.2ppg), even though she struggled shooting, had a great game passing."

Slupik led the Cougars in scoring with 12 points, while Zechman added 10 more. Niwot had a 46-32 advantage in rebounds, with Slupik pulling down 12. Pacheco was also in double figures with 10 rebounds, with Chloe Mitchell contributing 10 and Yie six. Other team leaders included Rhodes with four assists, Pacheco with six steals, and Slupik with three blocks.


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