LOUISVILLE -- Boulder's Lena Jaycox is one of those explosion players, one who, when she gets hot, there's not much you can do but sit back and enjoy the show.
Tuesday was one of those nights for the senior guard, but Monarch found a way to combat it.
Her name is Raegan Rohn.
The sophomore traded remarkable late-game shots with Jaycox, but Rohn's four-point play -- moments after Jaycox's go-ahead 3-pointer -- put the Coyotes in command for good in a thrilling 65-61 home win.
"It was a killer," Jaycox said. "Especially because I was the one that fouled her."
Jaycox scored 25 points in the 5A Front Range League opener, many of them spectacularly on a bevy of high-arcing 3s and deft drives to the hoop. Her 3 with 1:37 remaining put Boulder up 59-57, but Rohn countered with a 3 from the left baseline on the next possession with Jaycox clipping her as she made the shot.
Her free throw made it 61-59, and she added two more foul shots to give her team a two-possession lead with 10 seconds to go. Rohn scored 10 of her team-high 22 in the fourth.
"It was definitely a momentum-changer," said Rohn, who also traded breakaway baskets with Jaycox before the 3s. "It showed us we could win it. It was a team effort, but yeah, it was a really good game for me tonight."
Monarch (5-3, 1-0) got help from its bench, as reserve Brenna Stimac scored all 12 of her points in the second half and Francesca Cendali added 11 points. The contest also marked the return of Monarch senior guard Jordan Eisler, who had missed time before the break because of a foot injury.
After a hot start, Eisler finished with 10 points before fouling out along with teammate Ellie Dietz in the final minutes.
For awhile, it didn't look like a frenzied finish would be needed. Monarch was up 22-12 midway through the second quarter and appeared ready to go on cruise control. But Jaycox scored eight straight points and the Panthers closed the half on a 12-0 run. They took a two-point lead into the break.
"We started off horribly, but when I started hitting those shots we just all starting getting back into it," Jaycox said. "It was a close game from then on with just run after run."
Jacque Szarmach added 13 points and three long-range 3s for the Panthers (5-3, 0-1), and Courtney Van Bussum had a hearty line of 11 points and eight rebounds.
"It was an extremely tough game against a team that was very similar, very equal as you could tell," Boulder coach Ron Burgin said. "Welcome to this league. It's about how it could be just about every time out."
Burgin is seeing progress from his group and says the Panthers will be in good shape when they learn to close out games.
Although Monarch has different personnel in crunch time than in the past, much of the Coyotes' roster gained its early varsity experience by watching the team pull out numerous close wins in high-pressure games.
Rohn seemed to translate that quality onto the floor.
"She's been solid the whole year and every game she seems to be getting better and better," Monarch coach Chris Lewis said. "If she keeps working on the little things, she's just going to keep improving."
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Monarch 65, Boulder 61
At Monarch HS
BOULDER (5-3, 0-1)
Gregorich 1 4-4 6, Gates 0 0-2 0, Van Bussum 5 1-3 11, Jaycox 8 6-8 25, Szarmach 5 0-0 13, Burns 2 0-0 4, Aschbacher 1 0-0 2, Alexander 0 0-1 0. Totals 22 11-18 61.
MONARCH (5-3, 1-0)
Dietz 2 1-2 7, Rohn 7 7-7 22, Anthony 0 1-2 1, Eisler 4 1-2 10, O'Flannigan 1 0-0 2, Stimac 4 3-6 12, Keatley 0 0-0 0, Cendali 4 1-3 11, Medicino 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 14-22 65.
Score by quarters:
Boulder 8 16 19 18 -- 61
Monarch 13 9 23 20 -- 65
3-point field goals -- Boulder (6): Jaycox 3, Szarmach 3; Monarch (7): Dietz 2, Cendali 2, Rohn, Eisler, Stimac. Total fouls -- Boulder 19, Monarch 17. Fouled out -- Dietz, Eisler. Technical fouls -- Boulder (scorebook issue).