BROOMFIELD — The relative closeness of all the schools in the region is going to make for nights like Friday at Holy Family.
Holy Family's Izzy Hren and the Mead tandem of Anna Maher and Anna Veltien grew up playing basketball together as early as the second grade at the YMCA in Longmont. Their journey continued at St. John's in Longmont through eighth grade.
That's why Friday night's pivotal Tri-Valley League game had even deeper meaning than just a spot atop the standings.
"It's definitely a fun rivalry," Hren said. "The familiarity is tough, but it also lights a fire and further emphasizes how big this game is."
In a slow paced — some may even call it ugly — game, Hren's Tigers held serve at home and stayed perfect in the TVL with a 43-36 victory over the Mavericks.
Class 4A's third-ranked team, Holy Family (13-2 overall, 6-0 in the TVL) broke open a tight game in the latter half of the second quarter and into the third by going on a 10-0 run — sparked by Kaitlyn McKenzie, Genavieve Gudino and Hren that built the lead to 28-16.
Mead (10-4, 4-2) had trouble with the Holy Family pressure defense, especially in the third and managed just four points over that eight minute stretch and they all came from the foul line.
"I told somebody, I probably prepare less for this game than I do anybody else because I know exactly what Holy Family is going to do," Mead coach Vern Rathbun said. "We just have to beat them at what they do and they are really good at what they do."
And while the Mavericks were able to limit the giveaways in the first half, they started to mount in the second — 14 total in the final 16 minutes — but the Tigers were never really able to pull away despite that.
The Mavericks slowly chipped away at what was a 35-22 lead early in the fourth by making mini runs to cut the lead to single digits, but could never get to within two possessions.
The Tigers, who got 14 points from Hren and 10 from Cydney Pittenger, always had an answer.
"We did a lot of film work, a lot of on the court, off the court because we wanted to go through the first round of the Tri-Valley League undefeated," said Hren, who was thrilled at the fact her team was able to win at Mead's slower pace. "Eventually we want to run the table in the league and this was a big win."
Maher was the only Mead player to crack double digit, finishing with 10. Veltien finished with nine and Abby Glynn had seven.
HOLY FAMILY 43, MEAD 36
At Holy Family
MEAD (10-4, 4-2)
Hernandez 1 0-0 2, A. Maher 3 3-4 10, Choksey 0 0-0 0, Levine 0 1-2 1, Veltien 3 2-3 9, Gilbert 1 1-2 3, Glynn 3 1-2 7, O'Dell 1 2-4 4. Totals 12 10-17 36.
HOLY FAMILY (13-2, 6-0)
McKenzie 1 2-5 5, Gudino 3 0-1 8, Hren 7 0-0 14, Giltner 0 0-2 0, Gardon 0 0-0 0, Am. Ward 2 0-0 5, Aanerud 0 1-2 1, Pittenger 4 2-6 10. Totals 17 5-16 43.
Score by quarters:Mead106416—36
3-point field goals — Mead (2) A. Maher, Veltien; Holy Family (4): Gudino 2, McKenzie, A, Ward. Total fouls — Mead 10, Holy Family 15.