LAFAYETTE — Niwot girls basketball coach Terri Ward's chase for 300 wins took one step closer following her team's 37-26 win over Centaurus on Tuesday night.
Lily Sieben tied a career-high with 12 points and the Cougars held the Warriors without a field goal for 13 minutes, 57 seconds in helping their Class of 2018 CHSAA Hall of Fame coach to victory No. 299.
With another win, the longtime Cougars coach would join an exclusive group of the state's best. According to the CHSAA state girls' basketball records listed on CHSAANow.com, only 12 coaches in state history have won 300 games with a single program.
"I think it means I've been at one place for a while," Ward said. "I think it helps for consistency with a program. When you don't have constant turnover, turnover, turnover and coaches — in that regard, I think it's great."
Elise Gillett added six points and Marlow Baines and Elise Crall each had another five for the Cougars (5-10, 2-4 4A Northern), who followed a thrilling overtime win at Silver Creek last Friday with their third straight road victory.
Niwot, a team that hasn't scored 50 points in a game this season, relied again on its defense. It scored only four points in the opening quarter but held the Warriors to just 17 over the final three quarters.
"We play defense, we run the floor and hope to communicate," Ward said. "Seriously, that's all we talk about before we come out and play."
Now, if just a few more shots would fall.
"If we could make layups, we could beat people by 20 or 30 points," Ward added. "I don't know what it is. But it's OK, we won. We'll take a win, doesn't matter how (right now)."
Sieben scored seven points as part of a 10-0 run for Niwot that lasted 9:27, stretching from early in the second quarter to a few minutes into the third. She hit a 3-pointer in front of the Centaurus bench and had two other runners rattle in.
After the game, win No. 299 wasn't lost on Niwot's players.
"I think the first week of conference we were really focused on getting her 300th win that week, and I think it got in our heads," Sieben said. "But now that we're one win away, I think we're all super excited to be a part of it."
Centaurus (3-12, 1-5), a team replacing five starters from a year ago, never found much of an offensive rhythm in its fourth straight loss. Natalie Kramer led the way with 12 points, the seventh time this season the sophomore has scored in double digits.
Both teams will next play on Friday. The Warriors face Northridge, while Ward's first chance at 300 will come at Mountain View.
"I was never ever in it for wins," Ward said. "It wasn't something I thought about. My job is to teach these young ladies how to play some basketball, but also teach them that there's more out there than basketball.
"I just like what we've done for the Niwot community from when I started to now."
Brent W. New: firstname.lastname@example.org and @brentwnew
Niwot 37, Centaurus 26
At Centaurus HS
NIWOT (5-10, 2-4)
Noble 0 2-2 2, Gillett 3 0-1 6, Sims 0 2-2 2, Crall 1 3-4 5, Archibald 1 0-0 2, Demmel 0 1-2 1, Wardle 0 0-0 0, Wilson 0 0-0 0, Beaton 0 2-2 2, Baunes 2 1-2 5, Sieben 5 0-0 12. Team 12 11-15 37.
CENTAURUS (3-12, 1-5)
Sanchez 0 0-0 0, Torres 0 0-0 0, Martinez 2 4-4 8, Mischke 2 0-0 4, Reed 0 0-0 0, Torres-Contreras 1 0-0 2, Villareal 0 0-0 0, Kramer 3 4-6 12, MacDonald 0 0-0 0, Taylor-Preston 0 0-2 0, Keeler 0 0-0 0. Team 8 8-12 26.
Score by quarters:Niwot 4 11 11 11 — 37
3-point field goals — Niwot (2): Sieben 2; Centaurus (2): Kramer. Total fouls — Niwot 12, Centaurus 13. Fouled out — Mischke. Technical fouls — No technical fouls.