ERIE – The Erie and Broomfield girls basketball teams kicked off the much-anticipated start to Season B with a head-to-head matchup against one another on Wednesday evening.
Both teams entered the season following deep postseason runs in 2019-20 and counted among the top-10 teams in their respective classifications — Broomfield is ranked seventh in Class 5A and Erie is fourth in 4A. Kicking the season off with a bang, the Erie Tigers rode a big third quarter to a 65-58 victory over their larger-class opponents.
“It was a very good season opener,” Erie senior Anna Hefner said. “It was hard work but we all showed up with our A-Game and it paid off. We did what we planned to do we ended up with a good win against a good team.”
Despite playing without injured teammates Genevieve Gudino and Jennifer Altshuler, Erie pulled away during a 23-13 third quarter and made eight 3-pointers in the game. Junior guard Grace Moyers, who hit four of those long balls, led all scorers with 23 points. Hefner scored 12 and Deb Altshuler scored nine to help the Tigers win their first game under new head coach Chris Walls.
“We knew it was going to be a statement game, one way or the other, for somebody,” Walls said. “I’m just proud of the girls because they are tough inside and outside, and they got hot and made some good runs in the fourth quarter. Every single one of our girls contributed and we needed every single one of them tonight.”
Broomfield’s star forward, Courtney Wristen, who will play for the University of San Diego next season, led the Eagles with 20 points. Broomfield led 30-28 at halftime and made a run at Erie’s lead in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t quite enough to come all the way back. Eagles senior wing Hayley Ventura hit a team-high four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points.
“At the end of the day, I just can’t even believe some of the breakdowns we had on defense,” Broomfield head coach Mike Croell said. “We weren’t talking and we had girls running around wide open. Stuff like that, we’ve just got to fix. I thought, offensively, we had some girls step up. But when it came to our execution, we had some deer-in-the-headlights looks out there.”
Broomfield is scheduled to play crosstown rival and 4A title contender Holy Family on Friday. Erie will take on its second 5A opponent of the season, Fossil Ridge, on Saturday.