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Girls basketball: Broomfield awaits playoff fate after win over Monarch

Eagles expected to receive a first-round bye

  • Brent W. New/BoCoPreps.com

    LOUISVILLE — Courtney Wristen drives earlier in the third quarter in Broomfield's win over Monarch Thursday, Feb. 20

  • Brent W. New/BoCoPreps.com

    LOUISVILLE — Abigail Russo sets things up in Monarch's loss to Broomfield Thursday, Feb. 20

  • Brent W. New/BoCoPreps.com

    LOUISVILLE — Natalie Guanella goes up for a layup in Monarch's loss to Broomfield Thursday, Feb. 20

  • Brent W. New/BoCoPreps.com

    LOUISVILLE — Jessica Hoffman goes up for a shot in Broomfield win over Monarch Thursday, Feb. 20

  • Brent W. New/BoCoPreps.com

    LOUISVILLE — Natalie Guanella drives the baseline in Monarch's loss to Broomfield Thursday, Feb. 20

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LOUISVILLE — Broomfield finished the regular season strong, albeit with a final act that left much to be desired.

As a whole, the Eagles’ resumé should be good enough to earn a first-round bye in next week’s state playoffs.

Should be.

Brooke Pennington and Jessica Hoffman each had 11 points and the Eagles beat Monarch 58-42 Thursday night. They’ll now have to wait until Sunday when their final seed and placement in the Class 5A postseason is expected to be released by CHSAA.

“Your overall goal is to get a first-round bye, and I think, I think, we’ll be OK,” Broomfield coach Mike Croell said. “But hey, in the wacky world of RPI, until I see those numbers spit out on Sunday, I have no idea.”

Sweat it out. But one of the 16 first-round byes should be intact for his team.

The Eagles (17-6, 11-1 5A Front Range League), winners of 10 of their last 11 games, came into the night slotted 15th in the RPI standings. Using a metric based off win percentage, opponent win percentage and opponent’s opponent win percentage, the Eagles were grasping onto the final bye at No. 16 earlier in the week before climbing to 15 following Tuesday’s win over Poudre.

And while Broomfield isn’t expected to dip, Cherokee Trail, Mountain Vista, Rangeview and Chaparral came into the day less than a hundredth of a point behind.

Things could fluctuate into Saturday night when the remaining 5A games are completed.

“The chips fall how they fall,” Pennington said. “The probability of us getting a first-round bye is pretty high right now. Our minds are more towards we get a bye, so we have five days of strong practice and get better and better because that was not a good performance tonight. We can do so much better than that. And if we don’t get a first-round bye, we’ll still go out and play hard.”

Croell wasn’t thrilled with his team’s prelude to the postseason, pointing to its struggles in rebounding among other things. Pennington also noted a lack of cohesiveness.

Despite it, the Eagles pulled away late in the first half and were never in danger of losing the lead after that.

Emma Rich added 10 points and Courtney Wristen had eight in the win. Abigail Russo had 13 in the loss for the Coyotes.

“Like I just told them we’re a little bit of a Jekyll and Hyde,” Croell said. “Some nights we look like gangbusters and other nights like tonight, we — yeah, we beat them 18, 19 — but it should have been 30 or 40 if we don’t do some of the things we do.”

Monarch (13-9, 4-7), ranked 32nd in RPI, will end its regular season against Boulder Saturday.

Led by first-year coach Michael Blakely, the Coyotes didn’t regress despite replacing coach Gail Hook while losing the big-time production from BoCoPreps.com player of the year Emerson Herrmann. Instead, they’ve gotten nice contributions from seniors like Russo, who leads the team with more than 10 points per game. They’ve also have shown promise for the future with young talents like freshman guard Natalie Guanella (8.6 ppg).

“I feel like we’ve progressed a lot,” Blakely said. “I feel like our team has grown, we’re learning more about how to work together and have learned the systems that coaches have put in place. … It feels like it’s coming together.”