BOULDER -- Vivi Gregorich is the type of player who is hard to rattle.
Despite Boulder girls basketball's ups and downs at points this season, the junior guard was certain her team would turn out to be one of the top contenders in the Front Range League. On Friday night, her unwavering confidence in the Panthers was vindicated.
Behind an explosive fourth period, Boulder knocked off Loveland by its biggest margin in conference play. And in the process of notching the 73-55 victory, the Panthers went a long way to earning a spot in the upper echelons of their conference.
"I have a lot of faith in my team," Gregorich said. "We have a really deep bench and a lot of good players. In my mind there was just no way we weren't going to come through."
The junior was a huge part of Boulder's fourth win in its past five outings, leaving Loveland (14-3, 7-3) purple in the face with an onslaught of offense. Gregorich finished the night with 21 points, her second-highest showing of the season. And she was her team's scoring dynamo down the stretch.
Gregorich tied the game 52-52 off a 3-pointer 2 minutes into the final period. She then went on to build the Panthers' lead by hitting eight free throws to finish a perfect night at the line.
"The fourth was a relief," said the guard, who scored 10 points in the period. "We had a shaky third, but we were able to pull it back together."
While Boulder (11-6, 6-4) swung the momentum its way for a 14-0 run in the fourth off the perimeter, coach Ron Burgin pointed to Lena Jaycox driving to the lane for opening up the Panthers' offense.
"We were trying to do too much around the 3-point line and weren't attacking their zone," the Boulder coach said. "Once we did, the 3 did open."
Boulder allowing its opponents to dictate the pace of its offense cost the Panthers in the third. The team hit three field goals in the period and allowed the Indians the opportunity to build a late eight-point lead.
Even with Loveland gaining the upper hand, the Indians failed to pull away from Boulder with their top-scorer under wraps. Bradey King did her damage, finishing the night with 20 points. However, all but two of them came in the first half, with Jaycox thwarting one of the state's top 3-point shooters for the final 16 minutes.
"But their whole team could shoot," Burgin said. "That's why I kept telling the girls to get out on them. It was better to make them drive for two than give up the 3."
Boulder putting together a solid team win came at the right time from the coach's standpoint.
"You always want to play your best at the end of the season," he said.
It also heartened Jaycox. While one of the state's top scorers has no problem putting up the points when she has to, she said it is a much more comfortable feeling when her whole team is chipping in.
"I have full confidence in them," she said. "When they're guarding me hard, the others can step up and score."
Follow Elwood on Twitter @ElwoodKShelton.
Boulder 73, Loveland 55
At Boulder HS
LOVELAND (14-3, 7-3)
Anderson 0 1-2 1, Gleason 1 0-0 2, Spencer 1 0-0 2, King 6 6-7 20, Smith 2 1-1 6, Nyenhuis 5 1-2 11, Petrie 0 2-2 2, Bakovich 3 1-5 9. Totals 18 12-19 55.
BOULDER (11-6, 6-4)
Gregorich 5 9-9 21, Burns 1 3-8 6, Gates 1 1-1 3, Van Bussum 4 2-4 10, Dawson 1 0-0 2, Alexander 0 1-2 1, Jaycox 4 7-7 16, Szarmach 5 3-4 14. Totals 21 26-35 73.
Score by quarters:
Loveland 16 21 13 5 -- 55
Boulder 16 22 9 26 -- 73
3-point field goals -- Loveland (6): King 4, Bakovich ; Boulder (5): Gregorich, Burns, Jaycox, Szarmach. Total fouls -- Loveland 26, Boulder 15. Fouled out -- Jaycox, Petrie, Bakovich. Technical fouls -- none.