LONGMONT — After one quarter of play on Saturday evening, it would have been tough to predict that the Mead girls basketball team would come from behind to beat cross-town rival Longmont.
But that's what happened.
Despite a horrid first quarter and a three-point halftime deficit, the Mavericks cleaned up their game in the second half to pull away with a 41-32 win in the young rivalry series between the two Longmont-area schools. Especially considering how poorly the game started out, the Mavericks were happy to leave their home gym with a win and inch ever closer to the .500 mark.
"I can tell you that the girls definitely wanted to beat Longmont," first-year Mavericks head coach Vern Rathbun said. "I think it was tough for both teams because we both were coming off games last night, so I know that at least in our case we were a little tired coming in. That showed in the first quarter but I thought it turned into a pretty good basketball game and both teams played better after that."
Saturday's non-conference win was a much-needed boost for the Mavericks (6-7, 3-1 Tri-Valley), who started the season 1-5 including a five-game losing streak after beating Niwot in their season opener. They scored just two points in the first quarter but outscored the Trojans 17-10 in the third quarter to take the lead for good. Junior forward Anna Veltien, who leads the team scoring 11 point per game, scored eight of her game-high 16 in the third quarter.
Also finding her rhythm after halftime, Mavericks junior Anna Maher scored eight of her 13 points in the second half.
"We're getting better every week," Rathbun said. "The season started out kind of tough but the girls are starting to understand what we're trying to do and what we want to accomplish. We seem to be improving with every game. The girls are really starting to show some determination and ability to fight back to earn victories, which is what we saw tonight."
For Longmont (2-8, 1-2 Northern), it was the Trojans' third straight loss and sixth in their last seven games. Juniors Sydney Fixmer and Eva D'Epagnier led the Trojans with nine points apiece.
The Trojans will have another cross-town rivalry game on Tuesday when they host Silver Creek (7-4, 1-2 Northern) in a Northern League game. The Mavericks will return to conference play, as well, when they take on Tri-Valley League-leading Windsor (7-4, 3-0 Tri-Valley) at home on Thursday.
Mead 41, Longmont 32
At Mead H.S.
Nichols 0 0-0 0, Wiley 0 0-0 0, Moore 1 1-1 3, Wetterstrom 0 1-2 1, Carney 0 0-0 0, Fixmer 2 5-6 9, D'Epagnier 4 1-2 9, Bolte 1 2-2 5, Sheetz 2 0-0 5. Totals 10 10-13 32.
Hernandez 0 0-0 0, Hamann 0 2-2 2, Stephenson 0 0-0 0, Maher 4 4-11 13, Kamigaki 1 0-0 2, Levine 0 0-0 0, Veltien 7 2-4 16, Glynn 1 3-5 5, O'Dell 0 0-0 0, Cowley 0 2-6 2, Jacquet 0 1-2 1. Totals 13 14-30 41.
Score by quarters:Longmont 9 7 10 6 — 32 Mead 2 11 17 11 — 41
3-point field goals — Longmont (1): Sheetz; Mead (1): Maher. Total fouls — Longmont 24, Mead 16. Fouled out — Carney, Sheetz.