MEAD — When the Mead and Erie girls basketball teams met last month, the teams appeared to be evenly-matched, near carbon copies of one another.

Mead pulled out a narrow win that night, and since then, the teams have trended in opposite directions.

Mead has put together a solid season and is in the thick of the league race. After beating the visiting Tigers 48-31 on Friday night, the Mavericks (13-6, 8-2) remained in three-way tie for second place in the Tri-Valley League.

Erie, meanwhile, has fallen on hard times. The Tigers lost their ninth straight after an 8-2 start — a stretch that began with the initial loss to Mead — and remain without a league win in 10 tries.

In this one, Mead senior center Kari Lozinski dominated with 16 points, 15 rebounds, and three blocked shots. Rylee Ward added 14 points for the Mavericks.

“I know that we’re all working on playing really hard and not plateauing mid-season,” Lozinski said. “We’re always working on the little things to make us have an edge.”

In a stark contrast to the earlier meeting, Mead blew this one open early. The Mavericks led 22-6 early in the second quarter and played comfortable with the lead throughout.

“It was good to come out with a lot of energy tonight,” Mead coach Michael Ward said. “In my mind, we’re a better team when we come out early and we get after teams. Sometimes we’ll let teams hang around, but it was good to relax a little bit tonight and run some things that we wanted to run.”

The Mavericks were perhaps a little too relaxed at the foul line, where they clanked 20 of their 35 attempts. That was Ward’s lone beef, particularly the 3 for 14 output in the fourth.

“We can’t have that many misses in a game,” Ward said. “We were fortunate and lucky that we had a cushion.”

That cushion was largely due to the 6-foot Lozinski, whose output keyed Mead’s plus-18 advantage on the glass. Most important for the senior, though, was that the Mavericks kept pace with Berthoud and Windsor in the league race.

“We’re really hoping to get that second spot,” Lozinski said.

Erie (8-11, 0-10), meanwhile, just wants to get back on track. With the exception of a loss to 4A No. 4-ranked Holy Family, the Tigers have been in most of their league games. They have endured five single-digit losses.

“I think we’re just not playing a full 32 minutes of basketball,” Erie guard Kenzie Kudrna said. “I think there are certain times when one person takes a play off and we only have four people playing, or two people take a play off.

“We just need to come together as a team and play all 32 minutes. At the beginning of the season, that’s what we were doing. Now we’re playing bits and pieces and it’s just not coming together.”

Eight different Tigers scored, but none more than Kudrna’s seven points. The Tigers will aim to get back on track at home Tuesday against Skyline.

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Mead 48, Erie 31

At Mead HS

ERIE (8-11, 0-10)

Kenzie Kudrna 1 5-8 7, Aly Romey 1 2-4 5, McKayley Green 3 0-2 6, Annika Turner 0 1-4 1, Jade Phillips 0 0-0 0, Autymn Purcell 0 1-4 1, Kathryn Huonder 0 2-2 2, Amanda Farineau 0 3-6 3, Darby Berringer 1 3-4 6, Adlee Schenbeck 0 0-1 0, Katy Humble 0 0-0 0, Lyndsey Benson 0 0-0 0, Halle Hoback 0 0-0 0. Totals 6 17-35 31.

MEAD (13-6, 8-2)

Cami Kamigaki 0 2-2 2, Katie Maher 2 2-3 7, Kari Lozinski 7 2-7 16, Rylee Ward 4 4-8 14, Haylee McCullough 2 4-11 8, Shaylee Jelinek 0 0-0 0, Sophie Smith 0 0-0 0, Courtney McKrola 0 0-0 0, Anna Veltien 0 1-4 1. Totals 15 15-35 48.

Score by quarters:

Erie 6 9 8 8 — 31
Mead 15 12 13 8 — 48

3-point field goals — Erie (2): Romey, Berringer; Mead (3): Ward 2, Maher. Total fouls — Erie 23, Mead 24.