LONGMONT — It was less than a month ago, in the first meeting between Mead and Skyline in the Tri-Valley League, when things got out of hand early for the visiting Falcons ... a game that ended in a 27 point blowout.
With a chance to turn the tables on the cross-town foes, Skyline played with nothing to lose and with four minutes to play in the fourth quarter on Tuesday night it looked like they might return the favor.
They were down just 36-34 and had possession.
But is just wasn't meant to be.
Mead closed out the game on a 9-0 run to win 45-34 and move 9-2 in the Tri-Valley, just a game behind Holy Family, which knocked off Windsor 46-32 Tuesday night.
"We got ourselves in some foul trouble and the two things we talked about before the game was that we couldn't get into foul trouble and we couldn't turn the ball over," said Mead coach Vern Rathbun, whose team improved to 12-8 overall. "We did both and we did a lot of things to keep them in the game."
One of those things was foul shooting. The Mavericks at one point missed 13 straight fouls shots, extending from the second quarter into early in the fourth.
It wasn't until the final 9-0 run — in the most critical part of the game — that they started to make their fouls shots. Cami Kamigako and Anna Maher, who lead all scorers with 17 points, each made two on consecutive trips that helped extend the lead to 40-34.
"A lot of our recent games that have been fairly close, free throws have been the difference," Rathbun said, "And this is probably the first of those games that we haven't shot particularly well."
The Falcons (9-10, 3-8) didn't do themselves many favors from the line either. Skyline made just 10 of 28, including just 3 for 10 in the fourth quarter.
Skyline kept things close behind the inspired play of freshman Lindrey Schendel. Despite scoring just five points, she was a force on the boards and she single-handedly forced four turnovers with her pressure of the Mavericks guards.
Kylie Earhart led Skyline with 10 points and Aly McKrola added eight.
Mead, which will travel to Windsor on Friday and Holy Family on Valentine's Day, also got 12 points from Anna Veltien.
"I think this was a case of Skyline being ready for us and us not being ready for them," said Rathbun, who stopped short of saying his girls were looking ahead. "We are not even going to talk about this, we got Windsor on Friday, so that is what we are focused on."
MEAD 45, SKYLINE 34
MEAD (12-8, 8-2)
Nicole Hamann 1 0-0 3, Kayla Stephenson 0 0-0 0, Anna Maher 4 6-13 17, Cami Kamigaki 1 4-6 6, Jada Levine 0 0-0 0, Anna Veltien 6 0-2 12, Abby Glynn 0 0-3 0, Abby Cowley 2 0-4 5, Kelsey Jacquet 0 2-2 2. 13 12-30 45.
SKYLINE (9-10, 3-8)
Johanna Aguilar 1 3-4 5, Bailey Emanuel 0 0-0 0, Kylie Earhart 4 2-6 10, Ashayla Powers 0 0-0 0, Bella Garcia 0 0-3 0, Lindrey Schendel 2 1-6 5, Venessa Villereal 2 2-3 6, Aly McKrola 2 2-6 8. Totals 11 10-28 34.
Score by quarters:Mead 12 12 7 14 — 45
Skyline 9 11 9 5 — 34
3-point field goals — Mead (5): Maher 3, Hamann, Cowley; Skyline (2): McKrola 2. Total fouls — Mead 22; Skyline 20. Fouled out — Veltien; Garcia, Schendel.