LOUISVILLE — Most figured the Broomfield girls basketball team would have to grow up on the Class 5A circuit. Instead, the Eagles are plowing through it.
In a showdown featuring the Nos. 2 and 3 teams in the latest AP media poll, the second-ranked Eagles weathered an early burst by the host Monarch Coyotes then took over after intermission for a 65-52 Front Range League win.
Junior Brenna Chase scored a game-high 20 points for the Eagles and Colorado State-bound Callie Kaiser added 19.
“We hate when other teams go on a run, so we had to do what we could do to stop them,” Chase said. “I think we took it pretty well and we came out and finished the game.”
Behind early energetic play from center Jasmine Jeffcoat and guard Raegen Rohn, Monarch (15-2, 5-1) controlled the tempo early and held a seven-point lead late in the first half. But Broomfield (14-2, 6-0) came back to tie it 25-25 at the break, started the second half hot and never trailed the rest of the way.
“They jumped out on us, but they didn’t jump too far,” Broomfield coach Mike Croell said. “Getting the game tied at halftime was big. We typically have pretty good second halves, and we made it to halftime without anyone having major foul trouble, which was nice. Then we just settled in.”
The final margin paints a slightly more lopsided picture, as Broomfield salted away the game by drilling 17 of 20 free throws in the fourth. Monarch had cut the deficit to 45-42 on a jumper by Rohn just past the midway point of the quarter, but the Eagles countered with baskets by Nicole Lehrer and Kaiser. The lead soon ballooned to double digits.
Rohn led Monarch with 15 points as the Coyotes had a nine-game winning streak snapped. Jeffcoat added 12 points and 16 rebounds in the loss.
“I’ve played with a lot of those guys and they’re all great players,” Jeffcoat said. “They came out and did a great job trapping us. We were having a hard time breaking it. I felt like we were right in there with them, then we had to start fouling and they were doing great from the free-throw line.”
Up from 4A this season, Broomfield players have grown weary of hearing about it. The best way to shed talk of their former classification is to do exactly what the Eagles are doing — win in their new one.
This marked the 10th straight win for an Eagles squad that has to be considered a legitimate state-title contender.
“It’s fun for the girls,” Croell said. “They like being in 5A because they know every night it’s going to be great competition. For us coaches, it’s going to give us an ulcer.”
While Chase and Kaiser did their damage from the wings, Brenna Fankell corralled 13 rebounds for the Eagles. With Fankell in foul trouble, 6-foot-2 freshman Delaynie Byrne grabbed five boards of her own.
“That’s a good team,” Monarch coach Gail Hook said. “I’m proud of our girls and how we competed. There were some things that — we got beat on a lot of one-on-one penetration — that we need to get better at.
“But their kids, they’re studs. (Kaiser) took over when she needed to take over and she’s a tough kid to stop.”
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Broomfield 65, Monarch 52
At Monarch HS
BROOMFIELD (14-2, 6-0)
Callie Kaiser 5 9-11 19, Maddie Kern 4 0-0 9, Nicole Lehrer 2 2-2 6, Brenna Chase 5 9-10 20, Brenna Fankell 2 2-4 6, Fallyn Reed 1 0-0 2, Delaynie Byrne 1 1-2 3. Totals 20 23-29 65.
MONARCH (15-2, 5-1)
Madison Payne 1 0-1 2, Sally Sroge 4 2-3 10, Raegen Rohn 6 3-3 15, Kelly O’Flannigan 3 0-0 7, Jasmine Jeffcoat 3 6-6 12, Charlotte Crist 1 0-0 2, Peyton Carter 1 0-0 3, Macy Scott 0 1-2 1, Olivia Burgener 0 0-1 0. Totals 19 12-16 52.
Score by quarters:
Broomfield 9 16 17 23 — 65
Monarch 14 11 10 17 — 52
3-point field goals — Broomfield (2): Kern, Chase; Monarch (2): O’Flannigan, Carter. Total fouls — Broomfield 15, Monarch 20. Fouled out — O’Flannigan.