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Girls basketball: Boulder goes cold against seventh-ranked Poudre

BOULDER — Lena Jaycox entered Thursday night as Class 5A’s leading scorer at 19.3 points per game. For awhile, it looked as if the entire Boulder girls basketball team might not reach that total against No. 7 Poudre.

The Panthers managed only five points in the first 13 minutes of action and only 10 in the first half in an eventual 49-36 home loss to the Impalas. Afterwards, Boulder’s star player didn’t mince words.

“We’ve been playing horrible for awhile now,” said Jaycox, who managed a hard-fought 14 points despite being swarmed for most the contest. “Since the second half of Horizon (on Jan. 18) we haven’t played our game, and we just can’t get back to it.”

Poudre (13-1, 7-0) didn’t blow away the Panthers in the 5A Front Range League contest as much as wear them down. Led by 16 points and 13 rebounds from 5-foot-10 junior McKenzie McDaniel, the Impalas gradually pulled away.

It might have been more lopsided had Poudre not started 1 for 11 from the free-throw line en route to missing 14 overall. Then again, Boulder was 10 for 26 from the stripe.

“Our shots have not been going for the past couple games,” Jaycox said. “I don’t know what it is, and hopefully they start falling soon, but they’re just not going in.”

Boulder (8-6, 3-4) started 1 for 16 from the floor and was 6 for 31 entering the fourth. After managing only 19 points through three quarters, the Panthers came alive a little bit in the fourth and nearly doubled that total.

It didn’t matter much, because they entered the fourth trailing by 16.

Poudre, meanwhile, won its 13th straight after an opening loss to Ralston Valley.

“We stuck together as a team when things were going rough,” McDaniel said. “We made sure to trust each other and feed off the energy until we could get it turned around.”

McDaniel termed the first half “a bummer” because the Impalas weren’t playing well either. But they got away with a 19-point half — a half in which the teams combined to shoot an atrocious 4 for 20 from the foul line — because Boulder simply couldn’t score.

“It was a very slow, sluggish game, and we like playing the up-pace running game,” Jaycox said. “We just didn’t do that until the end, so it was frustrating. We’re going to have to come together and figure out how to get open shots. I’ll have to figure out how to get open shots, because it’s hard to get shots when I’m getting pulled on the jersey the whole time.”

Courtney Van Bussum added seven points and seven rebounds for Coach Ron Burgin’s Panthers, who will look to get back on track Friday at Greeley West.

Follow Paul on Twitter: @PaulWillis21

Poudre 49, Boulder 36

At Boulder HS

POUDRE (13-1, 7-0)

Travis 2 0-1 4, Fulmer 2 2-4 7, My. Hamm 4 1-3 9, A. McDaniel 2 3-6 7, M. McDaniel 4 7-10 16, Ma. Hamm 2 0-4 4, Haugen 1 0-0 2, Berkner 0 0-0 0, Lonowski 0 0-1 0, Bigge 0 0-0 0, Tomasini 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 13-27 49.

BOULDER (8-6, 3-4)

Burns 2 1-2 5, Gates 0 0-1 0, Van Bussum 3 1-5 7, Jaycox 4 4-7 14, Szarmach 2 3-5 7, Gregorich 1 0-0 2, Alexander 0 1-2 1, Aschbacher 0 0-2 0, Dawson 0 0-2 0, Reeves 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 10-26 36.

Score by quarters:

Poudre 8 11 16 14 — 49

Boulder 4 6 9 17 — 36

3-point field goals — Poudre (2): Fulmer, M. McDaniel; Boulder (2): Jaycox 2. Total fouls — Poudre 23, Boulder 22. Fouled out — My. Hamm, Gates. Technical fouls — None.