BROOMFIELD — With just one senior on the roster for the Broomfield girls basketball team, whatever run the Eagles make in these 2018 playoffs may be just as good for next year as it will be for this year's team.
On Tuesday night in a Class 5A first round game at BHS, they certainly didn't look like a team that had lost four of their past six games.
There was a flow to them against a better-than-expected Grand Junction Central, and from the middle of the second quarter on there was that classic Eagles brand of basketball that helped the hosts to a 65-40 victory.
Broomfield had some early shortcomings in the way of rebounding against the Warriors (10-14), but they corrected that and were off to the races as a result. It sets up a Friday second round game at Regis Jesuit, who may really be the best team in 5A despite their No. 6 seed.
"Once we get in a groove and start feeling each other, it just comes really easy for us because we have that great connection," said junior Steph Peterson, who scored 16 of her 23 points in the second half of play. "We usually have a couple of minutes at halftime to rally as a team before the coaches come in, and a lot of that tonight was about rebounding. We knew we didn't do that very well in the first half, and we came out and focused on that more second half."
"This team does a great job of making adjustments, and they did a good job of pushing the pace. This team is fun to watch when we can get out and run," Broomfield head coach Derek Seifried said after his team moved to 11-13 on the season. "Our strength is speed."
Grand Junction Central, which employs two speedy freshmen guards themselves, had some energy to expel after a long bus ride and it showed early on. The Warriors out-rebounded Broomfield 12-7 in the opening quarter and it led to a 12-4 early lead that the Eagles eventually closed to 12-8 before the end of the frame.
The Warriors continued to hold the edge on the glass (boasting 14 more boards in the second), but Broomfield started to answer more frequently the shots and scores the visitors put up. After several ties and lead changes, Broomfield took the lead for good after a Vanessa Kort 3-pointer with 58 seconds to go before the break made it 25-23 for the Eagles.
That actually started a crucial 12-0 run that spilled over into the third quarter, and freshman Courtney Wristen had a pair of put-backs in that stretch that got her going toward a 14-point night, as well.
Still at just 34-25 with 4:04 left in the third, Peterson finished off a beauty of a pass from sophomore Brooke Pennington down low with an added foul, and that really seemed to push the Eagles toward finishing baskets the rest of the night.
After being out-rebounded 26-13 in the first half, Broomfield had 24 rebounds to G.J. Central's 13 in the second half. Broomfield also limited itself to six total turnovers.
"It's a great opportunity to get to play Regis, and we're just excited," said Wristen, who posted back-to-back double-figure scoring games for the first time this season. "We know they're a really great team, but I feel like it'll be a great game."
Broomfield 65, Grand Junction Central 40
At Broomfield HS
GRAND JUNCTION CENTRAL (10-14)
Murdock 4 3-4 12, Florez 1 0-0 2, Redding 3 0-2 7, Madaris 1 3-3 5, Belcastro 1 0-0 2, Mitchell 3 4-9 10, Rodriguez-Alton 1 0-0 2, Brown 0 0-1 0. Totals 14 10-19 40.
Peterson 8 6-7 23, Keeler 1 3-4 5, Wristen 6 2-2 14, Antonopolous 1 0-0 2, Kort 1 1-2 4, Putsch 1 0-1 2, Hoffman 1 0-0 2, Young 3 0-0 8, Abeyta 0 0-0 0, Pennington 1 0-0 2, Burgesser 1 1-3 3, Belton 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 13-19 65.
Score by quarters:G.J. Central121198—40
3-point field goals — G.J. Central (2): Murdock, Redding; Broomfield (4): Young 2, Peterson Kort.