Girls basketball: Dawson School defense stifles Longmont Christian for win

  • Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Dawson School's Maddy Timms takes a shot during their game on tuesday night against Longmont Christian at the St. Vrain Memorial Building in Longmont. The Mustangs prevailed 42-30, Visit BoCoPreps.com for more photos.

  • Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Longmont Christian's Savannah Vrooman looks for a shot down low on Tuesday night against Dawson School.

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LONGMONT — With just a 6-4 lead at the end of a sloppy first quarter, Dawson School girls basketball coach JR Sagner told his team to find any way necessary to win their Mile High League opener with the Longmont Christian Warriors on Thursday.

Behind its defense, Dawson would prevail.

The Mustangs contained the top scorers for the Warriors to get a 42-30 win in the conference opener and the first game back from break in the new year.

“I told our kids (after the first quarter) to keep working on the defensive end,” Sagner said. “The shots would start falling.”

The top priority for the Mustangs was to contain Longmont Christian guard Whitney Echols, who entered the game averaging 18 points per game. The Mustangs also felt they needed to slow down Echols’ sister, Ellie, and take away the drive from Tayler Vandenburg in order to get the win.

Madison and Kaitlyn Day drew the defensive matchups on the Echols sisters for most of the night for the Mustangs.

“(We) had to stay in front of (Whitney Echols),” Kaitlyn Day said. “We knew she was an outside shooter, so we needed to stay in front but not too far off. We had to fight through screens and always have a hand in front of her.”

Pressure defense in the full court saw Whitney Echols commit a handful of turnovers early as Longmont Christian could not get into an offensive rhythm. In addition to slowing down the Echols sisters, Dawson also kept the other starting players off the scoreboard until Vandenburg hit a runner in the lane with 2:26 to go in the second quarter.

Vandenburg and Ellie Echols started the second half with a 5-0 run to keep the Warriors close, but another run from Dawson later in the quarter pushed the lead back up to 10. The double-digit lead held most of the way in the fourth quarter as Mustangs continued to keep Whitney Echols off the board until the final minutes of the game, when she scored her only two points.

Holding the Echols sisters and Vandenburg to 15 total points made the difference, according to Day.

“We stopped (the Echols sisters) and stopped Vandenburg on the drives,” Day said. “That was basically it for us.”

Kaitlyn Day found some offense in the second half to lead all scorers with 13 points. Maddy Timms also helped off the bench to finish with 12 points — with most of her scoring coming in the paint and at the free throw line.

For Sagner, he hopes to see his defense continue to excel and the offense to come together more consistently as league play continues Friday when the team hosts Cornerstone Christian Academy.

“The Mile High League is going to be tough. There is some good competition for us,” Sagner said. “We’re looking forward to it. I feel like there’s nobody that we can’t compete with, but we have to come in and work hard every day.”

Brandon Boles: bboles@prairiemountainmedia.com or twitter.com/BrandonBoles

 

Dawson 42, Longmont 30

At St. Vrain Memorial Building

Dawson (6-2, 1-0)

Kaitlyn Day 5 2-3 `3, Maddy Timms 4 4-6 12, Alexis Gilio 4 0-0 8, Madison Day 3 0-0 7, Alex Dunbar 1 0-0 2.

Longmont Christian (4-3, 0-2)

Ellie Echols 3 0-0 9, Jessica Schneider 3 1-2 7, Taylor Vandenburg 3 0-2 6, Savannah Vrooman 2 0-0 4, Whitney Echols 1 0-1 2, Kaitlyn Schanafelt 1 0-0 2.

Score by quarters:

Dawson (6-2, 1-0)                     6 13 6 17  — 42

Longmont Christian (4-3, 0-2)  4 6 5 15  — 30

3-point field goals — Dawson(2): Madison Day, Kaitlyn Day; Longmont Christian(3): Ellie Echols 3. Total fouls — Dawson 16, Longmont Christian 11. Fouled out — Dunbar.