Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer
Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer
BROOMFIELD — The extra jolt of energy that comes from facing a cross-town rival in a critical conference game hit Broomfield’s Courtney Wristen hard on Tuesday night.
The 6-foot-2 Eagles sophomore, who prides herself on being a high-motor player under regular circumstances, kicked her game into another gear in the Legacy High gym. She was a terror on the boards and got to the foul line at will from the jump.
The end result was a season-best 22 points for the sophomore and a 53-36 victory that kept the Eagles in the chase for the Front Range League championship.
“I guess tonight there was a little bit more of a spark,” Wristen said. “I normally play like I’m just a motor. I just try to try to do whatever I can to get something going. Tonight it was a doubleheader and it’s our rival so it was huge. We’ll just try to keep growing from here and we’re ready for Friday.
“That’s our main goal: to beat Fossil.”
Coming into Tuesday night’s game, both Broomfield (17-3, 8-1) and Legacy (11-10, 8-2) were two of three teams chasing the Fossil Ridge Sabercats, who entered Tuesday unbeaten in conference play and ranked No. 5 in the CHSAANow.com poll. No. 7 Horizon (16-4, 8-1) is also right in the mix.
Winners of their past eight games and ranked eighth, the Eagles beating Legacy on the road Tuesday set the stage for a Friday night matchup against the Sabercats (17-2, 9-0) that could determine the Front Range League title.
After picking up a desirable rivalry win to put themselves in that position, the Eagles took a moment to savor the rivalry win.
“It’s big any time you can beat somebody in your hometown,” Broomfield head coach Mike Croell said. “It may not be for a state championship but it’s for bragging rights. These kids all know each other and they’ve all played each other. They beat us last year and it’s nice to come back and return the favor.”
Legacy and Broomfield both reached the second round of last year’s state tournament and entered Tuesday’s game at a 4-4 tie in the rivalry series since 2011, according to MaxPreps.com. Legacy had won the past two meetings between the teams.
In the latest edition of the rivalry, Legacy led 10-8 after the first quarter. But Wristen scored nine points in a one-sided second quarter that included a steal and a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to end the frame, and the Eagles pulled ahead to lead 29-16 at halftime.
“Early in the first half, we just couldn’t shoot straight,” Croell said. “We were getting wide-open shots, we just couldn’t shoot them out of that zone. It was a tough zone. We hit enough to finally get enough distance and our press has kind of been our calling card all year. We finally got that going and got a bunch of turnovers off that and that’s really what kind of broke it open.”
Senior Halle Mackiewicz (19.9 ppg) scored 20 points to lead the Lightning. The Legacy girls opened the season with a 1-5 record against a brutal early schedule but have since won 10 of 13 games.
The Eagles will be back at home on Friday when they host Fossil Ridge. Up next for Legacy, the Lightning will host Monarch, also on Friday.
Broomfield 53, Legacy 36
At Legacy H.S.
BROOMFIELD (17-3, 8-1)
Peterson 2 0-0 4, Keeler 4 0-0 9, Wristen 6 9-14 22, Rich 1 0-0 3, Hoffman 4 0-0 11, Young 0 0-0 0, Pennington 2 0-0 4. Totals 19 9-14 53.
LEGACY (11-10, 8-2)
Priller 0 0-0 0, Keaser 2 0-0 4, Ahadi 1 0-0 2, Valenzuela 0 0-0 0, Liversedge 1 0-0 2, Taylor 2 0-0 4, Baum 1 0-0 2, Mackiewicz 6 8-9 20. Totals 13 8-9 36.
Score by quarters:
Broomfield 8 21 15 9 — 53
3-point field goals — Broomfield (6): Hoffman 3, Wristen, Keeler. Total fouls — Broomfield 11, Legacy 14. Fouled out — Valenzuela.