WINDSOR — The Broomfield girls basketball team worked hard Tuesday night to regain the lead after a second quarter with turnovers and missed opportunities put them down to the Windsor Wizards.
They got the lead in the third, but Windsor's Hollie Hoffman, the leading scorer for the Wizards who reached 1,000 career points Tuesday, put them back on top.
The work early in the fourth quarter got Broomfield the lead right back. This time, they extended the lead and made enough plays down the stretch to ensure a 60-55 win to advance to the Class 5A Great 8 at the Denver Coliseum on Friday.
"It was as crazy at it could get, but fun," Broomfield coach Mike Croell said. "I told them at the half that they weren't playing tough enough to come into an environment like this and win. They had to get tough, and they did."
Broomfield opened the game on a good start, scoring the first five points and leading 12-7 after the first quarter. Momentum began to shift with Windsor's defense forcing steals that led to transition points. Hoffman scored nine of her 13 first-half points in the second and pushed them to their five-point lead at the break.
While she did not shoot as high of a percentage with her jump shot as usual, the layups off steals and defensive breakdowns carried her to a team-high 22 points.
"(Hoffman) is so explosive," Croell said. "We tried to take away her right (hand), but that didn't work. She got in the lane. She really killed us with her steals."
In addition to Hoffman getting in the lane, Broomfield saw leading scorer Steph Peterson sit with two fouls in the first quarter and was shadowed aggressively all night.
The Eagles were able to counter behind Courtney Wristen with a career-high 24 points. Her work came in the paint with post ups on smaller defenders as well as offensive rebounds that she put up for second-chance points.
"I was trying to find the open spots," Wristen said.
Peterson and Jessica Hoffman put Broomfield in front in the fourth quarter and Wristen extended the lead. Up by six early in the fourth, they never allowed Windsor to regain the lead, but they were also unable to pull away completely.
But like they have done all season, the fourth quarter was closed out with enough plays on both ends of the court. The win put Broomfield at 10-0 in true road games this season.
"I was so proud of us," Wristen said. "We've been struggling with our free throws. I've been struggling with mine, but it was nice to see us step up and knock them down to close the game."
Croell added that he shared a story on the great NFL quarterback Joe Montana, who said the most satisfaction he got was going on the road and "ripping the opponents' hearts out." The motto has served as motivation for the team for their road success as well.
Now, that motto and road success is what the Eagles will be counting on heading to the Denver Coliseum to face the No. 1 seed Highlands Ranch Falcons (24-1), who blew out Dakota Ridge 72-25 in their Sweet 16 game on Tuesday.
"We're going to go into the Coliseum and hopefully make it a good game," Wristen said. "We know Highlands Ranch is really good. We have a lot to do for practices coming up to go into the Coliseum and make a statement."
Broomfield 60, Windsor 55
At Windsor High School
Courtney Wristen 8 8-13 24, Jessica Hoffman 7 2-6 17, Steph Peterson 5 2-2 13, Ellie Keeler 1 0-0 3, Emma Rich 1 0-2 2, Jaylene Young 0 1-3 1. Totals 22 13-26 60.
Hollie Hoffman 9 2-6 22, Karly Mathern 4 4-4 14, Ally Kennis 4 1-3 9, Jackie Jensen 1 1-2 3, Alexis Backhaus 1 0-0 2, Kylie Sanger 1 0-0 2, Caitlin Tator 0 2-2 2, Valerie Apodaca 0 1-4 1. Totals 20 11-21 55.
Score by quarters:Broomfield (22-3) 12 10 18 20 — 60
3-point field goals — Broomfield(3): Peterson, Keeler, J. Hoffman; Windsor(4): H. Hoffman 2, Mathern 2. Total fouls — Broomfield 16, Windsor 21. Fouled out — Kennis. Technical fouls — none.