BROOMFIELD — The first time Broomfield and Centaurus girls basketball met this season, it was a knockdown drag-out fight. The second time around Tuesday was nearly a repeat.
The Class 4A top-ranked Eagles came out with a slightly larger margin of victory than their first meeting with their rivals. But the win still marked BHS’ closest outing since its first meeting with the Warriors.
A second-half surge on offense delivered Broomfield a 35-31 win. And it had the Eagles and their coach wiping their collective brows about dodging a bullet against a team they beat twice this season by a combined seven points.
“I don’t get Centaurus, man,” Broomfield coach Mike Croell said. “They play us so hard. They’re just tough games.”
The win over Centaurus (15-7, 9-4) was well worth Croell’s frayed nerves, putting the Eagles (21-1, 13-0) on the cusp of its first undefeated season in Northern League play in three years. Broomfield has now won 15 consecutive games, not having lost to a Class 4A opponent nor a Northern League foe this season.
Broomfield closes out its regular season and conference schedule at Niwot. If the Eagles can finish strong and keep their winning streak alive, they believe it will make quite a statement entering the postseason.
“I think it’s going to say were a pretty strong team and confident heading into playoffs,” Broomfield wing Callie Kaiser said.
The Eagles’ resolve was tested coming out of halftime with the Warriors holding a five-point lead after the opening two periods. But Broomfield awoke on offense and corralled the momentum squarely back on its side midway through the third.
Kaiser nailed a 3-pointer at 3:16 to give Broomfield its first lead since the start of the second period. The team then built off the shot with strong inside play for the remainder of the game. The swing in play shocked Kaiser, who freely admitted her team did not bring its A-game to start.
“I think we came out timid,” said the sophomore, who finished with 12 points. “But then in the second half, we were much more confident.”
Centaurus never recovered the defensive spark that held Broomfield to single-digit showings in the opening two periods. But the Warriors never gave up, nearly making a successful run at the end of the game.
Lyndie Puckett kicked off a run that drew Centaurus within three points in the final 31-seconds. She hit a 3-pointer at 3:13, then followed up with a jumper and a couple free throws. But after that the Warriors could not find the winning shot.
“I was hoping it was going to get a spark going,” said Puckett, who finished with 12 points. “But some of our shots weren’t falling.”
Despite not earning a win over Broomfield after his team swept its rival last season, CHS coach Jeff Jackson still likes the position the Warriors are in. The team has only seven losses and, from its coach’s perspective, is in position to find its groove at the right time.
“Our goal was to be playing our best basketball late February and early March,” Jackson said. “I think we’re going to be peaking at the right time.”
Follow Elwood on Twitter @ElwoodKShelton.
Broomfield 35, Centaurus 31
At Broomfield HS
CENTAURUS (15-7, 9-4)
Puckett 4 2-2 12, Langer 2 1-1 6, Manfredini 0 1-2 1, Patterson 1 2-4 4, Hubbell 2 0-0 4, Esler 1 4-4. Totals 10 10-13 31.
BROOMFIELD (21-1, 13-0)
Kaiser 4 3-4 12, Wilber 1 0-2 3, Croell 1 1-2 3, Lehrer 0 4-6 6, Chase 2 0-0 4, Albrecht 1 0-0 2, Hull 1 3-4 5. Totals 10 12-18 35.
Score by quarters:
Centaurus 7 10 3 11 — 31
Broomfield 8 4 13 10 — 35
3-point field goals — Centaurus (3): Puckett 2, Langer; Broomfield (2): Kaiser, Wilbur. Total fouls — Centaurus 15, Broomfield 11. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — none.