There is hope for the Boulder girls basketball team, and it will arrive as soon as Tuesday when the Panthers match up against their favorite cross-town rival.
While the Fairview game at Coors Events Center will present Boulder with another stiff challenge in what has been a tough stretch, they will embrace the return of Grace Garza and Odelia Ryan.
Garza missed Friday's home game against Rocky Mountain because of an ankle sprain, and with her relegated to tutoring on the bench the Panthers were overwhelmed by the Lobos 63-19.
Rocky Mountain's trap defense stifled Boulder early to the tune of 22 turnovers by halftime. Coming in as a formidable 5A team with a chance to do damage in the playoffs, the Lobos finished around the hoop and were hungry to get the ball right back, resulting in few Boulder chances on the offensive end of the court.
"We talked a lot tonight about doing the little things to make the big things happen, and we didn't do any of those little things," Panthers head coach Sara Clarke said, her team falling to 4-10 overall. "It's hard when your star is out, but there's no excuses for not stepping in and filling roles.
"We're looking forward to next week, a game that we can get excited about, and the second half of our Front Range League teams."
As it stood, Boulder put out a young team on the floor with sophomores Claire Boyle and Sydney Arthur in the starting lineup. The Panthers mustered just four field goal attempts in the first quarter, and managed to only double that with eight attempts in the second quarter. The result was a 41-4 halftime deficit.
Junior Marlee Burridge led the team with nine points, and Arthur scored four, but the Panthers were also limited in their rebounding effort as well with 24 boards. Boyle led the team with nine rebounds.
Sara Jones led Rocky Mountain with 15 points and nine rebounds, and Megan Fenwick scored nine of her 11 points in the first quarter.
"I feel like sometimes we let our fear of failure get in our way, and that once they fail they start playing," Clarke said. "We need to put that fear out of our minds at the beginning of the game and get more confident."
Rocky Mountain 63, Boulder 19
At Boulder HS
ROCKY MOUNTAIN (13-2, 3-2)
Kiley Towne 0 1-2 1, Sara Jones 4 3-3 11, Jade Gosar 4 1-4 9, Megan Fenwick 4 3-3 11, Victoria Graham 0 2-4 2, Lena Long-Shore 0 0-0 0, Holly Mackie 3 2-4 10, Makayla Eccher 1 2-6 4, Kelsey Achziger 2 2-3 6, Savannah Warner 1 2-2 4, Maddi Widick 0 0-0 0, Gabby McDonald 0 1-2 1, Riley Ostler 0 0-1 0. Total 22 16-35 63.
BOULDER (4-10, 0-4)
Megan O'Herron 1 0-0 2, Ally Murphy Pauletto 2 0-0 4, Grace Chow 0 0-0 0, Skelly Aggett-Carosella 0 0-0 0, Kelly McCarty 0 0-0 0, Claire Boyle 0 0-0 0, Meghan Lewis 0 0-0 0, Bijou MacDonald 0 0-0 0, Sydney Arthur 2 0-0 4, Marlee Burridge 4 1-2 9. Totals 9 1-2 19.
Score by quarters:Rocky Mountain 20 21 10 12 — 63
3-point field goals — Rocky Mountain (3): Mackie 2, Jones. Fouled out — MacDonald, Arthur, Burridge.