LONGMONT — The Holy Family girls basketball team found it hard Tuesday night to match the intensity Mead brought to the table, especially after sinking their teeth into Longmont this past Saturday.
While the Mavericks played well defensively most of the contest at MHS in a Tri-Valley League tilt, it was the Tigers who scraped up enough key conversions in the second half for a 49-26 win.
"It was a lot closer than the score indicated, I can tell you that," Holy Family coach Ron Rossi said after his team moved to 15-5 overall and rebounded from an overtime loss to the Trojans in a potential playoff preview.
A closer look would indicate as much, as Mead trailed just 19-15 with 5 minutes, 6 seconds left in the third quarter. However, putting together 32 good minutes of basketball against one of the state's storied programs comes with its challenges, one of which is being able to be the aggressor.
Mead coach Mike Ward was the first to admit the Mavericks were not that team in the final 12 minutes of play. Sporadic play from the hosts resulted in a quick turnaround of momentum, and Holy Family outscored Mead 30-11 the rest of the way.
"Defensively I thought we did a good job taking them out of their element a bit, but offensively I think we passed up a lot of shots," Ward said, his team led by Sophie Smith's eight points. "When we were aggressive, good things were happening. But when you get timid, that's when (Holy Family) thrives. They get some steals and get off to the races."
The match was much closer throughout the first half than an earlier meeting in which Holy Family won 63-36. Holy Family shot just 7-for-27 in the first half this time around and led 17-10.
Mead found success inside, and when Abby Cowley converted a transition basket at the 5:06 mark to bring MHS within four points, a heated finish could have been expected.
Instead, Holy Family's character and experience shown through. Katie Chavez scored 13 of her 19 points after that, and Leah Schwartz (11 points total) had two key baskets to go along with two made free throws.
"We had to figure out some different things, but our press helped us get through it," said Chavez, who also had 11 rebounds. "The good thing about our team is we are so competitive. Even if the shots aren't falling, we don't get down. We get even more determined."
"Mead came out and played hard and smart ... and it seemed we were like one step short for awhile," Rossi said. "The defense came through for us when we needed it."
Holy Family 49, Mead 26
At Mead HS
HOLY FAMILY (15-5, 11-0)
Katie Chavez 7 3-5 19, Casey Griggs 1 2-2 5, Leah Schwartz 4 2-2 11, Lindsey Bovine 0 0-0 0, Isabelle Hren 2 1-2 5, Paige Giltner 0 0-0 0, BreAnna Torres 0 2-2 2, Natalie Gardon 1 0-0 2, Amanda Ward 1 2-2 4, Sydney Alderfer 0 0-0 0, RaeAnne Torres 0 0-0 0, Cydney Pittenger 0 1-2 1. Totals 16 13-17 49.
MEAD (10-10, 5-6)
Bella Brown 0 1-2 1, Nicole Hamann 0 0-0 0, Kayla Stephenson 0 0-0 0, Anna Maher 0 2-2 2, Cami Kamigaki 0 1-2 1, Shaylee Jelinek 2 0-0 4, Anna Veltien 0 0-0 0, Sophie Smith 4 0-2 8, Bailee Irwin 3 0-2 6, Abby Cowley 2 0-1 4. Totals 11 4-11 26.
Score by quarters:Holy Family 6 11 11 21 — 49 Mead 2 8 9 7 — 26
3-point field goals — Holy Family (4): Chavez 2, Griggs, Schwartz.