LONGMONT — The Holy Family girls ran the gauntlet in December, facing six teams ranked in the top 10 in the state in Class 4A, to prepare them for what they were sure to face when the calendar turned.

Even with a little holiday rust, the Tigers looked every bit prepared to defend their Tri-Valley League crown on Tuesday night against Skyline. They blew out the Falcons 54-29 and started the second half of their schedule with a bang.

"When you play good teams, you get better," said Holy Family coach Ron Rossi, whose team moved to 5-4 overall and 1-0 in the TVL.

Holy Family put the Falcons in an early 9-0 hole that they could never dig themselves out of. Senior Casey Griggs spear-headed the early onslaught for the Tigers, scoring eight first quarter points and helping run the point of the Rossi's oh-so-powerful press.

"I expect the sloppiness. We missed a lot of lay-ups early on and you just not as smooth as you want to be that first game out," Rossi said. "The other thing is that you legs aren't strong because you haven't played in two weeks."

Skyline (4-3, 0-1) kept things close in the second quarter, and had the Falcons cashed in at the free-throw line they might have kept things a little tighter. Coach Gerald Macon's team went just 3-for-11 in the quarter — they were down 27-12 at the half — and went just 9-for-24 in the game.

As hot as Griggs was on the offensive end in the early going, she cooled off in the second half and it was a combination of players that picked up the slack. Senior Leah Schwartz scored eight of her game-high 13 in the third quarter, including two of her three 3-pointers.


The Tigers defense did the rest. They put the clamps on the Falcons' go-to players — like freshman Lindrey Schendel and Aly McKrola — and limited them to just 14 points between them. McKrola and junior Kylie Earhart each had nine points for the Falcons.

"You start off and you set the tone for the league, and that was one thing we wanted to do was defend that title," Rossi said. "We want to be champions."

Jon Yunt: yuntj@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/JonEYunt


At Skyline

HOLY FAMILY (5-4, 1-0)

KaitlynMcKenzie 0 4-6 4, Casey Griggs 5 1-1 12, Leah Schwartz 4 2-2 13, Isabella Sandoval 0 0-2 0, Isabelle Hren 2 1-2 5, Paige Giltner 2 0-1 4, BreAnna Torres 1 2-2 4, Ashley Ward 0 0-0 0, Amanda Ward 1 5-8 7, Sydney Alderfer 0 0-0 0, Cydney Pittenger 2 1-2 5, Diandra Romero 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 16-26 54.

SKYLINE (4-3, 0-1)

Yesi Salomon 0 0-1 0, Bailey Emanuel 2 0-0 4, Kylie Earhart 3 3-8 9, Bella Garcia 0 0-0 0, Lindrey Schendel 1 3-7 5, Vanessa Villereal 1 0-0 2, Aly McKrola 3 3-8 9. Totals 10 9-24 29.

Score by quarters:

Holy Family 12 15 16 11 — 54

Skyline 3 9 10 7 — 29

3-point field goals — Holy Family (4): Schwartz 3, Griggs; Skyline (0): None. Total fouls — Holy Family 20; Skyline 11.