Daily Camera file photo
LAFAYETTE — The Centaurus Warriors had a nine-point lead late in the fourth quarter, but the young team could not finish with that lead as the Brighton Bulldogs went on a run in the final minutes.
The final bucket for Brighton came from Nikki Antonopoulos, who drove and made contact with a defender but managed to get the shot off the glass and in the hoop with two seconds remaining, which resulted in Brighton (3-2) finishing the game on an 11-0 run to come back and beat Centaurus (2-2) 38-36 in the Centaurus Warrior Classic.
“Our playmakers are young,” Centaurus coach Chris Mischke said. “We have one senior on the team and I’m playing six or seven different freshmen. We’re just trying to get used to everybody. But you have to give your hats off to Brighton. They made some big shots at the end.”
Brighton hit back-to-back 3-pointers that cut the lead down to two points and then got a steal and layup to tie the game with 41 seconds remaining. Centaurus ran as much time as it could before getting a runner in the lane from Julia Mischke, which bounced off the rim and was rebounded by Brighton. The Bulldogs called timeout with five seconds remaining and got the ball to Antonopoulos, who delivered the game-winner.
“We just have so much learning to do, and that’s the process,” coach Mischke said. “We have a long way to go, but at the same time we need these games. We learn more from losing sometimes than we do winning.”
Freshman Laura Gensert, who entered the game leading the team in scoring, did so again on Thursday thanks to a big second half that saw her score 13 of her 17 points. Julia Mischke had a big first quarter to score 10.
Centaurus will return to the court Saturday to face Greeley West in the third-place game after its loss to Erie in the other semifinal game. For the Warriors, their focus is to keep learning and building chemistry together with their young roster to get ready for league play after winter break.
“It’s really a fun group to coach,” Mischke said. “The program is going in the right direction, there’s no doubt about it. We’re going to be okay, but we knew we would face some growing pains with the girls right now.”
Silver Creek falls to Thornton in consolation bracket
In the consolation bracket at the Centaurus tournament, the Silver Creek Raptors and Thornton Trojans were looking to bounce back with a win. Both teams played a close first quarter, but Thornton pulled away for the 44-26 win in the early game.
Silver Creek got contributions from multiple girls and looked to have its offensive clicking in the first quarter with 11 points. From there, the Raptors struggled to put the ball in the hoop, scoring just seven points in the second quarter as Thornton built up an early lead. Shooting woes continued in the second half with Silver Creek scoring two points in the third quarter and six in the fourth.
The Raptors finished shooting 6-of-43 from the field and never got into a rhythm before falling to Thornton. MacKenzie Larson and Marissa Bartels each finished with six points to lead the Raptors on offense.