BOULDER — This year's Shining Mountain Waldorf girls basketball team knew it would have plenty of depth to be competitive but many questions remained concerning how the Lions would be able to challenge the top-level teams in Class 1A.

Many of those questions remain unanswered.

"We're still looking for our identity, who we are," Lions head coach Mike Hawkes said. "We've been a team that has had really strong second halves and we're working to turn that into really strong full games. We want to keep getting better as we approach the district tournament.

"We're not playing our best basketball right now. We've had glimpses of it. But our goal by the end of February is to be playing our best basketball."

For a team that is still searching for its own identity, it can be quite difficult to defeat an undefeated team like Heritage Christian. On Saturday evening, the Lions found that out the hard way during a 47-19 loss to the visiting Eagles.

Against the Eagles (13-0, 7-0 3A/2A/1A Mile High League), who are currently ranked seventh in 1A by the Colorado AP poll, the Lions weren't able to put together one of their characteristic second-half surges. Trailing 22-12 at halftime, the Lions (5-7, 1-2 2A/1A 5280 League) scored just seven points in the final two quarters.


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"They're a good team and they move the ball around really well," Hawkes said. "Number 24 (Sarah McGinley), she's a heck of a player. Our goal was to shut her down and hold her below her season average and we were successful at that, but our rotations on defense weren't great. Because of that, lots of other girls hurt us, especially in transition."

The Lions held McGinley (18.8 ppg) to 13 points. While they centered their defense on McGinley, however, nine other Eagles scored.

Senior Rosie Gershman (9.0 ppg) led the Lions with nine points.

Despite their recent struggles, the Lions have won five games thus far in the 2015-16 season and Hawkes feels there is plenty of time for them to build momentum before district tournaments begin in late February.

"We talk about those things quite a bit," Hawkes said. "We've got some good senior leadership and they're definitely communicative with the other players on our team in working through the struggles. We've got room to improve and we'll continue to work hard."

Hawkes said the Lions are expecting a tough conference game when they travel to Northglenn to take on Community Christian (9-4, 3-1) on Tuesday.

Brad Cochi: cochib@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BradCochi

Heritage Christian 47, Shining Mountain 19

At Shining Mountain Waldorf

HERITAGE CHRISTIAN (13-0)

Weaver 1 0-0 2, Lacey 0 1-2 1, Beery 2 2-2 6, Underhill 0 0-0 0, Collins 1 0-0 2, Ziegler 2 1-2 5, Re. Rairdon 5 0-0 10, AuBrooks 0 0-0 0, Ra. Rairdon 2 0-0 4, McGinley 5 1-2 13, Nava 0 1-2 1, Stelingwerf 0 0-2 0, Hughes 1 1-2 3, Erikson 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 7-14 47.

SHINING MOUNTAIN (5-7)

Speak 0 0-0 0, Gershman 3 2-4 9, Baca 1 1-4 3, Ellinwood 0 0-0 0, Fairmont 0 1-3 1, I. Shore 0 0-0 0, Wright 3 0-0 6, Claman 0 0-0 0, A. Shore 0 0-0 0, Schaefer 0 0-0 0. Totals 7 4-11 19.

Score by quarters:

Heritage Christian 10 12 12 13 — 47

Shining Mountain 8 4 3 4 — 19

3-point field goals — Heritage Christian (2): McGinley 2; Shining Mountain (1): Gershman. Total fouls — Heritage Christian 10, Shining Mountain 10.