LAFAYETTE — This season has an optimistic tone for a Dawson School girls basketball team that has a number of up-and-coming young players and a new coach who seems determined to break the program’s seven-year string of sub-.500 seasons.
Winning their season opener over a month ago left the Mustangs confident that they were building towards accomplishing that goal, and that confidence has not wavered in the time since. Even after a 40-32 loss to Heritage Christian at Dawson School on Thursday, the Mustangs could be heard cheering for the progress they’ve made from outside the locker room.
Still on track for where they want to end up, the Mustangs (4-3) will enter Mile High League play next week with a winning record.
“The team has just been coming together so well,” first-year head coach Rob Pierson said. “We have a lot of youth and some veterans, so it’s just a good mix. With all of us being a new staff, there was a lot we had to adapt to. We’ve hit a stride with them buying in to what we’re trying to do pretty early and we’re pretty excited about our potential this season.”
Ranked in the CHSAANow.com 1A top 10 until this week, Heritage Christian (7-2) pulled ahead early on with Sarah Collins hitting a trio of 3-pointers in the first quarter that helped the Eagles take a 15-6 lead into the second. They led 26-11 at halftime.
Down 30-18 to start the fourth quarter, the Mustangs made a late push. Sophomore Kaitlyn Day hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to seven with one minute left and another that cut the lead to five with 27.6 seconds remaining. But that was as close as the Mustangs would get before the final buzzer.
“I think we came out not as strong and maybe a little intimidated,” Day said. “But in the second half, we picked up the intensity and started to shut them down. With a ton of new freshmen coming in and new coaches, we’re still getting better. Our intensity and our skills have picked up and we’ll just keep working to progress.”
Day scored 10 of her team-high 14 points and Maddy Timms scored six more for the Mustangs, who have just one senior on the roster.
The Mustangs will begin conference play at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday when they travel to play Gilpin County.
Heritage Christian 40, Dawson School 32
At Dawson School
HERITAGE CHRISTIAN (7-2)
C. Lacey 0 1-4 1, E. Lacey 0 0-0 0, Collins 7 3-4 21, Erikson 0 0-0 0, Brown 0 0-0 0, Rairdon 0 1-2 1, Hughes 4 4-5 12, Johnson 2 1-4 5. Totals 13 10-19 40.
DAWSON SCHOOL (4-3)
Day 5 1-6 14, Hicks 0 0-0 0, Dunbar 0 0-2 0, Gallop 1 0-0 2, Timms 3 0-0 6, Alexis 2 0-0 4, Boone 2 0-0 4, Walker 1 0-0 2. Totals 14 1-8 32.
Score by quarters:
Heritage Christian 1511410—40
3-point field goals — Heritage Christian (4): Collins 4; Dawson (3): Day 3. Total fouls — Heritage Christian 17, Dawson 19. Fouled out — Timms.