BROOMFIELD — Considering the history of the Monarch and Legacy girls basketball teams, Monarch coach Gail Hook wasn’t astonished the game was something of a “dogfight” heading into the final quarter
The veteran coach was surprised, however, that her Coyotes came out flat. After watching their nine-game winning streak evaporate Thursday against Broomfield, Hook was hoping for some extra zest Tuesday night.
“I questioned their intensity level at halftime,” Hook said. “Luckily we were only down two at that point.”
The visiting Coyotes resurrected themselves in the second half and pulled away late for a 49-39 Front Range League win that left them in sole possession of second place in the stalwart league. The teams, which squared off in the 2012 5A title game, entered the night tied for second.
“We came out after halftime with a lot more intensity, and when the game was on the line we stepped up and made some big plays and got a lead,” Coyotes senior guard Raegen Rohn said. “In the Broomfield game, we played hard but our shots weren’t falling for awhile while their shots were. We talked about how when our shots aren’t falling, we really need to bring energy on defense.”
Rohn led the Coyotes (16-2, 6-1) with 17 points and teamed with reserve guard Peyton Carter to force several Lightning turnovers that resulted in breakaway baskets in the fourth. Carter scored all six of her points in the final quarter.
Monarch made one hefty run out of the gates to start the second half, but Legacy (10-8, 5-2) countered it behind top scorers Courtney Smith and Bree Paulson. Smith’s two free throws put the Lightning up 34-33 at the outset of the fourth, but Monarch stifled Legacy for nearly seven minutes and steadily put together a game-breaking 10-0 run.
“We really competed. I don’t think we ever quit,” Legacy coach Craig Van Patten said. “But it just comes down to, you have to convert in the fourth quarter and crunch time, and we just didn’t do it tonight.”
The Northern Colorado-bound Smith entered with averages of 22.6 points and 11.2 rebounds. The 6-foot-4 senior finished with 17 and eight, which was a solid outing but manageable for Monarch.
“We worked on trying to push her out of the block a little bit because she’s so effective there,” Hook said. “I think we made it difficult for her on some of those shots, because we really brought in our weak-side help and created some difficulty for her.”
Added Rohn: “Our scouting report was to hold her under her average and we did that. She’s a great player, but I think we did a great job of keeping her off of her game.”
Paulson added 12 for Legacy, but the Lightning only received 10 points from its complementary scorers.
Sally Sroge chipped in with 10 points for Monarch and center Jasmine Jeffcoat had nine, including two jumpers from near the foul line. The Coyotes didn’t shoot a free throw until Jeffcoat stepped to the line with 5 minutes, 27 seconds left in the fourth, which Hook said spoke to the lack of aggressiveness.
But the Coyotes did enough to avoid their first losing streak of the season.
“We did what we needed to do in that fourth quarter,” Hook said. “I thought we were patient in our offense and played better defense.”
Monarch outscored Legacy 16-7 in the fourth, sending the Lightning to its second straight league loss after a 5-0 start.
“At the beginning of the quarter we’re up one, then we miss three straight layups and turn the ball over three straight times after that,” Van Patten said. “We just didn’t convert in the fourth and they did.”
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Monarch 49, Legacy 39
At Legacy HS
MONARCH (16-2, 6-1)
Madison Payne 1 0-0 2, Sally Sroge 5 0-2 10, Raegen Rohn 6 4-4 17, Kelly O’Flannigan 1 1-2 3, Jasmine Jeffcoat 4 1-3 9, Charlotte Crist 1 0-0 2, Peyton Carter 3 0-0 6, Macy Scott 0 0-0 0, Olivia Burgener 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 6-11 49.
LEGACY (10-8, 5-2)
Katelyn Pedersen 1 2-2 4, Vanessa Romo 2 0-0 4, Miranda Romo 0 0-0 0, Bree Paulson 4 3-4 12, Courtney Smith 5 6-6 17, Maddie Gallegos 0 0-0 0, Jackie Mattthews 1 0-0 2. Totals 13 11-12 39.
Score by quarters:
Monarch 6 11 16 16 — 49
Legacy 6 13 13 7 — 39
3-point field goals — Monarch (1): Rohn; Legacy (2): Paulson, Smith. Total fouls — Monarch 10, Legacy 10.