Girls basketball: Late game heroics see Broomfield survive in overtime thriller

Eagles advance to Sweet 16 in Class 5A state tournament

Brandon Boles/
Jessica Hoffman (22) runs to center court to celebrate Broomfield’s overtime win over Mountain Vista in the second round of the Class 5A state tournament on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020 at Broomfield High School.

BROOMFIELD — The first time the Broomfield Eagles and Mountain Vista Golden Eagles met back on Jan. 11, Broomfield left with a sour taste losing 57-36 on a Saturday afternoon the day after an emotional win over Horizon just one night prior.

In the rematch, which was hosted by Broomfield in the second round of the Class 5A state basketball tournament, they changed fate in wild, dramatic fashion.

Broomfield (18-6) rallied in the fourth quarter and again in overtime to hang on and win 49-48 over Mountain Vista (15-10) to advance to the Sweet 16.

“It feels so good,” Broomfield’s Jessica Hoffman said. “For a while we went into that rut where we would lose really close games, and finally we were able to finish one. It feels really good right now.”

Hoffman led the comeback efforts for Broomfield in the final minutes of the fourth quarter and in overtime with her offensive production.

Brandon Boles/
Broomfield guard Emma Rich (right) drives around a Mountain Vista defender in the first half of their game in the second round of the Class 5A state tournament on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020 at Broomfield High School.

Down 39-36 with seconds remaining, Hoffman drilled an open 3-pointer that tied the game. She had another chance to win it in the fourth, along with Courtney Wristen who rebounded her miss in close, but overtime proved necessary. In the extra period, Hoffman made a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer to keep Broomfield close.

“We told (Hoffman) at halftime and throughout the whole game that when she was wide open, she had to keep shooting it,” Broomfield coach Mike Croell said. “You can’t pass that up. She’s our best player and she’s going to keep shooting.”

Hoffman hit a free throw that tied the game with less than 30 seconds remaining. On her second attempt, the ball bounced off the rim and Jaylene Young drew a foul from Mountain Vista going for the offensive rebound. Young would make one of her two free throws that put Broomfield up 49-48.

After BHS missed two free throws with five seconds remaining, Mountain Vista got a chance to go the length of the court and hit a shot at the end of overtime to win. The play broke down for Broomfield’s defense when Mountain Vista’s Amy Holland threw a pass near half court to Amiya Robison, who quickly threw it towards the far sideline to Berti Brookfield for a running start to the rim.

“When the girl broke free, I was like ‘oh no’. What are we doing,” Croell said.

Brookfield took a runner just inside the 3-point arc and the shot bounced off the rim and was recovered with no time on the clock.

“We got burned on that play, but luckily some other girls stepped up and altered the shot,” Croell said.

Hoffman hit three of Broomfield’s five 3-pointers and led the team with 19 points in the win. Courtney Wristen had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out in overtime.

The late offense was critical as Broomfield struggled to begin the game and was held to 15 points in the first half by Mountain Vista, who blitzed Broomfield with a pressure defense that trapped ball-handlers and forced passing miscues.

When things were going tough, Broomfield got a lift from key role players at critical times to stay in the game, starting with Brooke Pennington getting a couple of steals and buckets in the third quarter, to Sophia Christopher hitting some big free throws and getting a couple of offensive rebounds in the fourth that led to second-chance points, to Young’s game-winning free throw in the final seconds.

“We trust each other,” Hoffman said. “We know that even if we have a mistake, we won’t get mad at each other. It’s a next-play mindset, and that was happening towards the end. We had some mistakes, but we kept on going.”

Broomfield has a tall task in the Sweet 16, facing No. 3 seed Regis Jesuit on Tuesday. Regis Jesuit won big 88-24 in its second-round game on Friday and has a plethora of players back from their Final Four run a season ago. But coming off an emotional win, Broomfield says they will be ready for the big test.

“We know it will be a tall order, but we’re excited to get the chance,” Croell said.

Brandon Boles/
Broomfield guard Sophie Christopher looks to make a pass in the half court versus Mountain Vista in the second round of the Class 5A state tournament on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020 at Broomfield High School. (Photo by Brandon Boles/