BROOMFIELD — Three weeks away from sorting out the drama of the 'who is where' in the state playoff bracket, decorated Broomfield girls basketball coach Mike Croell knows how important a seed can be to a team's playoff success.
Maybe less so if the Eagles can play like they did in the early goings Friday night.
Standout guard Steph Peterson and the Eagles went straight to work from the opening tip, and what lined up to be an intriguing matchup between two of the Front Range League's most notable contenders spiraled quickly into a landslide as Broomfield beat Mountain Range 65-41.
With no hesitation, Peterson and Courtney Wristen knocked down back-to-back 3s before Jessica Hoffman had a breakaway layup to force the Mustangs into a timeout just 1 minute, 39 seconds into the first.
A little later in the quarter, Peterson dribbled around a few statuesque defenders and finished the nifty drive to start a 22-0 run. During the spurt, Mountain Range went scoreless for 9:46 and the Eagles built a 32-6 lead.
"We put together moments where we really look good," said Croell, who returned to the program he won six titles with this season after a three-year hiatus. "And there's other times where we go four or five minutes where we don't score a bucket. We just have to put together a complete game."
The Eagles (14-3, 5-1) didn't need a complete game in what was a dominant showcase over Mountain Range (13-5, 5-2) — and maybe that's even more evidence to the kind of turnaround Broomfield is enjoying after going just 21-29 the past two seasons.
Leading throughout, the defense was relentless (22 steals while forcing 31 turnovers) and the offense was solid (just not quite as efficient after its big run.) The Eagles went 4-of-6 from deep in the opening quarter and seemingly always found the open look before finishing the night 35 percent from beyond the perimeter and 25-of-51 from the field.
Critique is always easier after a win.
"We kind of do that in practice sometimes where we start off really well and then come down a little after that," Peterson said.
The senior captain finished with a game-high 18 and Courtney Wristen added 11 in leading the Eagles to their second five-game winning streak of the season. In the prior two seasons, Broomfield's largest win streak was four.
The Eagles came into the night ranked ninth in the CHSAANow.com polls and 10th in RPI.
After Friday's game, Croell didn't want to guess at how deep of a run his team could make in the postseason. The seed will have something to do with it — his team's play, probably more.
"All we can do right now is worry about ourselves, take care of our business, keep winning games and keep getting better," he said. "Kind of let the chips fall where they fall."
Brent W. New: email@example.com and @brentwnew
Broomfield 65, Mountain Range 41
At Broomfield HS
MOUNTAIN RANGE (13-5, 5-2)
Lay 1 0-0 3, West 2 0-0 4, A. Chavez 1 0-0 3, Gallegos 0 0-0 0, H. Chavez 6 0-0 13, Alvarado 1 1-2 3, Brich 1 0-0 2, Giampietro 1 6-8 8, Hinds 1 0-1 2, Martin 1 0-0 2, Alvarez 0 1-2 1. Team 15 8-13 41.
BROOMFIELD (14-3, 5-1)
Peterson 6 3-4 18, Wristen 4 1-1 11, Wiggins 0 0-0 0, Putsch 0 0-0 0, Rich 2 1-1 5, Hoffman 4 0-1 9, Young 1 0-0 3, Abeyta 3 1-2 7, Pennington 3 0-0 6, Belton 0 0-0 0, Burgesser 0 0-0 0, Keeler 2 2-5 6, Felknor 0 0-0 0. Team 25 8-14 65.
Score by quarters:Mountain Range 6 12 8 15 — 41
3-point field goals — Mountain Range (3): Lay, A. Chavez, H. Alvarez; Broomfield (7): Peterson 3, Wristen 2, Hoffman, Young. Total fouls — Mountain Range 15, Broomfield 16. Fouled out — No players fouled out. Technical fouls — No technical fouls.