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Girls basketball: Longmont Christian wins sixth straight

Taylor Vandenburg’s 17 points lead the way

  • Brent W. New/BoCoPreps.com

    Longmont Christian's Taylor Vandenburg backs down a defender in the Warriors' win over Front Range Christian Thursday, Feb. 6

  • Brent W. New/BoCoPreps.com

    Longmont Christian's Rachel Cahill, left, drives in from the wing during their game against Front Range Christian on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020 in Longmont.

  • Brent W. New/BoCoPreps.com

    Longmont Christian's Rachel Cahill sprints past a defender in the Warriors' win over Front Range Christian Thursday, Feb. 6

  • Brent W. New/BoCoPreps.com

    Longmont Christian's Jessica Schneider rises over defender for a shot in the Warriors' win over Front Range Christian Thursday, Feb. 6

  • Brent W. New/BoCoPreps.com

    Longmont Christian's Ellie Echols fires a long pass on the fastbreak in the Warriors' win over Front Range Christian Thursday, Feb. 6

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LONGMONT — Longmont Christian’s home court sits inside something of a swiss-army knife of a church gymnasium. With fluorescent lights above a rubber-coated floor, and a stage perched up just beyond the far out-of-bounds, a setting suited as much for a congregation as a fanbase turned into the Warriors’ latest sparkling performance.

Taylor Vandenburg scored 17 and Jessica Schneider added 15, leading Longmont Christian past Front Range Christian 47-33 Thursday at FaithPoint Church for its sixth straight victory.

Looking around afterward, Vandenburg grinned.

“It’s a good atmosphere,” she said. “Since it’s not too big we can pack it in and It’s not too overwhelming. It’s like home.”

Rachel Cahill added all seven of her points in an opening 13-0 splurge for the Warriors, who never had their lead slip back into single digits in the wire-to-wire rout. Ellie Echols had six.

“We love to think that each quarter starts at 0-0 and we come out and start really strong,” Vandenburg added. “That really helps get the momentum going.”

The win was certainly nice for Longmont Christian (8-5, 5-3 2A/1A Mile High League), which beat Front Range Christian (4-12, 1-8) for a third straight season. It also remains in the middle of the league standings as the only 1A program.

Postgame vibes were still a bit groggy.

Zach Echols’ crew is one of a number of area teams currently dealing with widespread illness. With three games last week, Echols gave his team a couple of days off of practice to try and recover. To no avail, he said, Wednesday’s practice was cut short due to it.

“It was just a cough session here and we weren’t doing anything hard,” said Echols, who was without point guard Kaitlyn Schanafelt. “Really we’ve got six varsity girls and two girls that have never played before that are JV. We’re a thin squad, so if we have people out in the final stretch, it’s going to be tough.”

For now, it’s aching — but good.

The Warriors, who came into the night ranked 10th in 1A RPI, jumped out to a 13-0 lead on the strength of successive 3s from Cahill, and never looked back.

Tara Huth finally ended the drought with 2:46 left in the first but Front Range Christian never got much closer. The Warriors’ lead stretched into the 20s by the third as Vandenburg had a quick eight and Schneider five as part of another 13-0 stretch.

Longmont Christian’s last loss came to Denver Christian Jan. 17. The Warriors blew a big lead — much to do with 41 turnovers — and dropped to 2-5. Since then, things have tightened.

“We just learned we need to start working as a team,” Vandenburg said. “It started to click for us that we can do this and we got our confidence back.”

The Warriors head on the road for their next three games, starting at Lone Star Saturday.