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Girls basketball: No case of Mondays for Broomfield in top-5 showdown

ARVADA — It is a little more difficult to spot a Maddie Kern fist pump during the volleyball season. Subtle as it is, during the basketball season it comes after every made field goal.

If you missed one on Monday night, there were plenty of them from the junior as the CHSAAnow.com Class 5A No. 2-ranked Broomfield Eagles took out No. 5 Ralston Valley 66-54 at the RVHS gym.

Coming off one of the best games of her career last week against Greeley West, Kern had it going again early as the Eagles looked to get started fast against the Mustangs — a team BHS had defeated once this season already. Brenna Chase and Brenna Fankell also had RVHS in a bind in the first quarter, and the Eagles managed to keep the margin wide throughout the contest to improve to 18-2 on the season.

“I’ve been struggling with some of my offensive shots, so I had something to prove to myself and for my teammates,” Kern said after scoring 13 points, including hitting three of BHS’ eight 3-pointers in the contest. “I came out and gave all I could.”

It’s been an up-and-down season shooting for Kern, a full-time starter for the first time at BHS. Lately, it seems she’s found her touch. Against the Spartans, she hit 6 of 8 shots for a career-most 16 points, going 4-for-4 from beyond the arc.

Monday, she nailed three of her first four attempts and went 5 for 9 overall. When Ralston Valley crashed down on her teammates, she was left open with the opportunity to help her team.

“Maddie started off shooting real well and then fell into a mid-season slump, but it looks like she’s starting to find things again,” Broomfield head coach Mike Croell said. “We have a lot of firepower, and it’s good stuff.”

Kern, Chase and Fankell all fell into the same groove in the first quarter, and the Eagles had a much easier time separating themselves from Ralston Valley (14-5) this time as compared to their 62-41 win at the Fairview Festival back in December.

That meeting, Ralston Valley trailed by just 14-13 after 8 minutes. On their own floor, however, they succumbed to the Broomfield trap in the first 2 minutes, and the Eagles were up 12-0 before the crowd had even settled in. Kern, Chase and Fankell combined for 25 points in the first quarter, and BHS had forged a 26-10 advantage.

Defensively, Broomfield’s hands were everywhere they needed to be. While they controlled the ball better, Ralston Valley hit just 5 of 12 shots in the second quarter and was outrebounded 11-8. Fankell added eight more points to her total before the half was over, and Broomfield was ahead comfortably 44-24.

“We may not have layups go in, or shots that fall, but that’s when we make things up on defense and shut down the other team’s offense,” Kern said. “It helps us get that boost we need to get another shot on offense, and make that next one.”

Fankell finished with 17, and Chase had 24.

Ralston Valley made runs that kept Broomfield honest. In the third quarter, the Mustangs cut the visitor’s lead to 49-34 with 3 minutes, 53 seconds remaining when Morgan Nishida found Sydney Prey on the weak side. However, Broomfield scored the next six points to put their minds back at ease.

“In their home gym, hey, they aren’t going away,” Croell said. “Early in the third and mid-way through the third, they made runs at us and we had an answer. To come off a weekend, come in here and play another team that is leading their league, and for the most part have a 20-point lead … we’ll take it.”

Callie Kaiser had some tough luck shooting but finished with 11 rebounds and six points. Prey led three Mustangs in double figures with 14 points.

Adam Dunivan: dunivana@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/AdamDunivan24

Broomfield 66, Ralston Valley 54

At Ralston Valley HS

BROOMFIELD (18-2)

Callie Kaiser 3 0-0 6, Fallyn Reed 0 0-0 0, Maddie Kern 5 0-0 13, Nicole Lehrer 1 1-2 3, Brenna Chase 9 2-2 24, Brenna Fankell 7 3-4 17, Delaynie Byrne 1 0-0 3. Totals 26 6-8 66.

RALSTON VALLEY (14-5)

Morgan Nishida 2 1-1 5, Ashley Van Sickle 4 0-0 11, Sydney Prey 5 4-6 14, Chloe Gillach 0 0-0 0, Hannah Weber 5 0-0 13, Sarah Bevington 2 0-0 4, MaKena Prey 2 3-4 7. Totals 20 8-11 54.

Score by quarters:

Broomfield 26 18 14 8 — 66
Ralston Valley 10 14 18 12 — 54

3-point field goals — Broomfield (8): Chase 4, Kern 3, Byrne; Ralston Valley (6): A. Van Sickle 3, Weber 3.

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