BROOMFIELD - Of course, it was slow, particularly at the outset. How else could it be? Monarch dresses all of seven girls basketball players, hardly plays more than six and this isn't Parris Island in the Marines.
So the Coyotes' 50-35 decision on the road at Legacy on Friday night is kind of standard operating procedure - coach Bill Bradley's group, now 8-5 overall and 2-1 in the Front Range League with the victory, has yet to be in a game in which either team scored as many as 60 points.
Nevertheless, slow starts can wear on a coach. Ask Bradley.
"We did it on Wednesday," the coach said about an up-and-down 38-32 setback to Horizon.
Still, he said he likes the challenge of the coaching he must employ with this group, which also has two Division I players. Yes, it's interesting.
Consider Colorado-bound Coyotes guard Peyton Carter -- she was conspicuously scoreless in the first half, scored 21 points after halftime as Monarch took command and has heard this song before. She remembers beginning the past game with a turnover that she says helped lead to a loss, can't remember what she did on Friday and just wants to keep working to afford some consistency.
"We've been leading by 10 points in, like, one game," she said. "We talked about it at halftime and we had to be focused about our third quarter, too, because in our past few games we've come out strong, not including (Wednesday), and our third quarter has been dead."
With sophomore Emerson Herrmann - Monarch has no juniors on its varsity roster, no junior-varsity team and only 15 girls in the program - carrying the play early with nine points in the first half, the Coyotes kept the lead and jumped out to bigger bulges multiple times, only to have the Lightning, now 9-3, 1-1, stay within range.
Even with Missouri-Kansas City signee Jasmine Jeffcoat providing strong defense and rebounding, and Carter hitting her stride, Legacy managed to create some opportunities, but mostly away from the basket. However, it didn't get to the free-throw line. It had only two attempts and missed both, and was guilty of 21 turnovers in not always handling Monarch pressure.
"We kept it close early (Monarch led 16-12 at half), but in that third quarter (the Coyotes) just have those two kids," Lightning coach Craig Van Patten said. "They're well-coached and have good defenders. They kind of forced us to hit some outside shots and we didn't; they were shots we were uncomfortable taking."
In addition to Carter, who also made 7 of 8 free throws, Hermann scored 12. Nicole Reading added nine and Jeffcoat six.
Monarch 50, Legacy 35
At Legacy High School
MONARCH (8-5, 2-1)
Jeffcoat 2 2-5 6, Carter 5 7-8 21, Reading 3 0-0 9, Herrmann 4 4-8 12, Morgan 0 0-0 0, Deitsch 1 0-0 2, That 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 13-21 50..
LEGACY (9-3, 1-1)
Kenson 2 0-0 5, Pedersen 3 0-2 8, Romo 0 0-00, Mackiewicz 4 0-0 8, Carson 2 0-0 4, Zamora 3 0-0 7, Valenzuela 0 0-0 0, Beck 1 0-0 3. Totals 15 0-2 36..
Score by quarters:Monarch 9 7 18 16 — 50
Legacy 4 8 9 14 — 35
3-point field goals — Monarch (7): Carter 4, Reading 3; Legacy (5): Pederson 2, Beck, Kenson, Zamora. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — none.