LONGMONT — For the most part, both the Niwot and Longmont girls basketball teams were spinning tires in the slush in their Tuesday night rivalry at LHS.

But for the Cougars in a 41-37 slugfest that went into overtime, victory was especially redemptive.

Short-benched Niwot overcame a buzzer-beating layup from Longmont's Sarah Nichols to send the game into extra play, and the Cougars out-scored the host Trojans 7-3 to end a 15-game skid in the series.

Zoe Gonzales had five blocked shots in the game to go along with 11 points, but it was the team's defense overall that had the sophomore elated.

"Our defense was honestly the best it's been so far because our communication was our big thing tonight and it just helped so much," Gonzales, who stands about 6-foot-2, said after the Cougars moved to 6-5 and 1-1 in the Northern League. "We took charges and blocked some shots.

"It was great to end that streak."

You'd have to go back to February of 2008 to find the last time NHS came away with a hoops win between the teams. But with the overall team varsity experience a little more in its favor, Niwot showed some moxie down the stretch — though it missed five of six free throws in the final minute of regulation that could have prevented overtime.


The teams were within a couple of baskets from each other the entire contest, but once Nichols drove down and hit a shot to tie the game at 34-34, Niwot came out strong in overtime. Sophie Grant and Allie Colvin each hit buckets inside early on, and the Cougars kept Longmont from getting any second chances, too.

Gonzales made an open layup with 20.7 seconds to go to give Niwot a two-possession lead (41-37), and the Cougars were able to buckle it down for their fourth win in the past six games. Niwot out-rebounded Longmont 33-20, as well, with Gonzales getting 10 boards.

"Today we just really played well as a team, especially for such a tough game that is a rivalry," Gonzales said. "We worked well together and it helped in the end."

Niwot, which was missing four players to injury (Alli Mercier, Jamie Lee, Rosie Setter, Meah Ricciardello), somehow overcame 36 turnovers and a 17-12 halftime deficit. YY Chen had 10 points, and Allie Colvin had seven — all in the second half as the Cougars made 10 of their 13 field goal attempts after the break.

Longmont (2-6, 1-1) shot 50 percent each of the first and fourth quarters but went just 4-for-22 from the floor in the second and third periods and 0-for-5 in overtime.

Sydney Fixmer led the Trojans with nine points.

Niwot’s Sophie Grant, right, talks to teammate Mary Gillete during Tuesday’s game at Longmont.
Niwot's Sophie Grant, right, talks to teammate Mary Gillete during Tuesday's game at Longmont. (Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer)

Adam Dunivan: dunivana@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/AdamDunivan24

Niwot 41, Longmont 37 (OT)

At Longmont HS

NIWOT (6-5, 1-1)

Colvin 3 0-0 7, Grant 1 1-2 3, Gillett 2 3-9 8, Chen 3 1-4 10, Gonzales 5 1-3 11, Stevens 0 2-2 2, Martinez 0 0-0 0, Baht 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 8-20 41.

LONGMONT (2-6, 1-1)

Nichols 3 0-0 6, Wiley 0 0-0 0, Moore 1 1-2 3, Wetterstrom 0 0-2 0, Carney 1 0-0 2, Fixmer 3 3-7 9, D'Epagnier 2 3-4 7, Bolte 2 0-2 5, Sheetz 2 1-4 5. Totals 14 8-21 37.

Score by quarters:

Niwot 7 5 14 8 7 — 41

Longmont 11 6 7 10 3 — 37

3-point field goals — Niwot (5): Chen 3, Colvin, Gillett; Longmont (1): Bolte.