LONGMONT — Madi Gaibler was money on Saturday night in a game where a win in a rivalry is good as gold.
The Longmont junior was looking forward to the Trojans’ game against Skyline for weeks, and when she was able to play it out, there was no one better on the court as LHS took a 47-21 victory.
Sparked by a team effort on defense and rebounding, Gaibler contributed early to a big run to derail the Falcons, but she never let up in posting 19 points and 14 rebounds — her third straight double-double and fourth in five games.
For Gaibler, the energy was simply the outcome of the circumstances.
“I think Skyline’s probably one of our most exciting games every year, and it’s really loud in the gym so it’s easy to get going,” Gaibler said. “Everyone was really excited to get out there, and we played as a team on defense.”
Longmont used a 17-0 run during the first quarter to get the needed spread it carried for the rest of the game. After Naomi Barron hit a long jumper for the game’s first points, the Trojans used a full-court pressure defense to induce six early turnovers, and Longmont managed to go 7 for 16 from the field in opening a 20-3 lead the first 8 minutes.
In addition to garnering turnovers, the Trojans were tough on the boards, especially offensively. Longmont carried a 48-28 edge in rebounds for the game, but 16 of those came around its basket.
Gaibler corralled several of those and made them count.
“Madi and Sydney have always gone after the boards well, and we had some other girls step up for us tonight,” said Longmont coach Mike Knaus, whose team moved to 7-3 with the non-league victory. “Madi had a great night on the boards, and we were able to get her in the middle of their zone defense for some jumpers.”
“We have a lot of girls that get after it,” Gaibler said. “We have a drill in practice called ‘Bloody Buckets’ … and it just keeps us aggressive. We’re just that kind of team, I guess.”
Gaibler had five early points, and Sydney Wetterstrom also had six of her 13 points in the first quarter. Grace Hamm finished a couple layups in transition, too, all feeding into the good start with the team playing a second night in a row.
The Trojans only scored six points on 3 of 12 shooting in the second stanza, but the team challenged enough Skyline shots to keep the hosts from making a run.
Skyline went without a field goal in the third frame, and Gaibler’s six fourth-quarter points helped Longmont pull away for good.
“We want to attack off our rebounds more, and we got away from that in the second quarter,” Knaus said. “We played a little more up-tempo in the third. I think we were a little fatigued from (Friday) because we were only seven-deep. But I thought we played pretty well for being up against that.”
Alyssa Steed led Skyline with 12 points and 10 rebounds, but the Falcons managed just six total field goals for the contest.
Follow Adam on Twitter: twitter.com/AdamDunivan24
LONGMONT 47, SKYLINE 21
At Skyline HS
Sarah Nichols 1 0-0 3, Grace Hamm 2 0-0 4, Sydney Wetterstrom 4 5-7 13, Madi Gaibler 9 1-3 19, Alexis Cox 0 2-2 2, Kennedy Sheetz 1 1-4 3, Sam Wiley 0 1-2 1, Emma Carney 1 0-0 2. Totals 18 10-18 47.
Leah Osborn 1 0-0 3, Naomi Barron 3 0-0 6, Kelsey Robison 0 0-3 0, Alyssa Steed 2 8-10 12, Bella Garcia 0 0-1 0. Totals 6 8-14 21.
Score by quarters:
Longmont 20 6 7 14 — 47
Skyline 3 10 4 4 — 21
3-point field goals — Longmont (1): Nichols; Skyline (1): Osborn. Total fouls — Longmont 15, Skyline 16.