BROOMFIELD – It was one of those halves for Holy Family.
The Tigers started poorly late Saturday afternoon and there were reasons for it. They were fresh from knocking off defending Class 4A state champion Evergreen. They had double-digit turnovers. They were facing winless parochial-school rival Mullen. And they probably weren’t taking the Mustangs seriously.
So, Tigers senior Izzy Hren said, they got a talking-to at halftime by coach Ron Rossi, then went out and ran past the Mustangs 59-42 in 4A nonleague action. Holy Family won its third straight game after losing its opener by two points in overtime to Air Academy and may have learned a lesson.
“At halftime, Rossi was, like, ‘What are you guys doing out there? It’s dull!'” Hren said. “Nothing was going for us.”
However, the third and fourth quarters were entirely different. After trailing 27-21 at the break, Holy Family regularly got the ball to Hren and she basically did the rest. She scored seven points as the Tigers went on a 14-5 run. It got even better down the stretch – she scored 13 of the Tigers’ next 15 points as they won going away and enjoyed a 38-15 edge over the final 16 minutes.
All told, Hren finished with 29 points, 22 in the second half and 15 in the fourth quarter.
It all came back to their meeting at halftime.
“Rossi just put the hammer down and said, ‘Come on, guys!'” Hren said. “And we did. My teammates were getting me the ball when I was open. And coach has this thing where if all of us believe it, we can do anything.”
Said Rossi: “The coach was a little upset at half .. but she’s such a good player, she turned it on …
“It was dull and embarrassing, just because we did not play to our level; we played to our opponents’ level. Mullen came out and played really well, shot the ball well and found holes in our zone. When you play someone like Evergreen and beat the No. 1 team, I think we did not respect Mullen well enough.”
Mustangs coach Frank Cawley changed up his team’s starting lineup and it contained four freshman, but was able to work through turnover problems, make 7-of-10 shots in the second quarter, and grab the lead. The shorter group also rebounded with the taller Tigers and had an 18-8 run to take command.
But next was Holy Family’s expected move and it happened. Baskets by Kaitlyn McKenzie, Genevieve Gudino and Cecilia Aanerud modified three by Hren. McKenzie tied it at 29 with a 3-pointer and Hren converted a basket in the point for a lead the Tigers never relinquished.
Improved ball movement and better defense also lifted the Tigers in addition to Mullen, now 0-5, making just three of its first 16 shots.
Sophomore Gabby Thomas added 10 points for Holy Family, which will be at Sierra in Colorado Spreings on Tuesday.
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HOLY FAMILY 59, MULLEN 42
At Holy Family
Pohs 2 0-0 5, Martinez 3 0-0 8, A. Dominguez 2 0-0 4, Robles 3 0-0 6, Elges 5 0-0 11, Eidenmueller 0 0-0 0, Perez 0 2-2 2, Loukopoulos 1 2-2 4, Oswald 0 0-0 0, B. Dominguez 1 0-0 2. Totals 17 4-4 42..
McKenzie 4 0-0 9, Hren 12 1-1 29, Giltner 0 0-0 0, Am. Ward 0 0-0 0, Pittenger 2 0-0 4, Gudino 1 0-0 2, Thomas 3 2-2 10, Aanerud 2 1-1 5, Gardon 0 0-0 0, As. Ward 0 0-0 0, Sanders 0 0-0 0. Totals 24 4-4 59..
Score by quarters:
3-point field goals — Martinez 2, Elges, Pohs; Hren 4, Thomas 2, McKenzie.