Better late than never.
After nearly a month and with just a handful of games left in the Season B regular season, the Boulder girls basketball team captured its first conference victory of the campaign on Friday. The Panthers’ first Front Range League victim — Mountain Range — fell prey via a 44-33 defeat at Boulder High.
It may have taken a while. But it sure felt good.
“Coming off a couple hard losses, our team kind of felt a little down,” Panthers junior Ella Bartsch said. “This was a big one to help our attitude moving forward.”
Looking for their first win since defeating Northglenn in their season opener, the Panthers (2-9, 1-8) matched their season-high scoring total on Friday night. They led 16-14 at halftime after outscoring the Mustangs (2-8, 1-8), 11-5, in the second quarter.
Bartsch, who averages 11.9 points per game, led the Panthers with 10 points. Senior point guard Abbie Gillach (10.5 ppg) scored eight. Carina Ontiveros also had eight points and Marisa Weygandt finished with nine.
“I thought we played really hard, played as a team and passed better,” Bartsch said. “We all had the energy we needed. I think we were being patient on offense and playing good defense, being on the help side a lot. We were all helping our teammates.”
The Panthers outscored the Mustangs in every quarter but the first, holding a Mountain Range team that averages 41.1 points a game to single digits in every frame but the fourth. Boulder hit a trio of 3-pointers, getting two from Gillach and one from Weygandt.
Having not tasted victory since Jan. 26, Panthers head coach Emily Van Patten said she was thrilled with the way her team came together to get a win exactly one month later.
“My girls, that was probably the best solid, all-around team basketball they’ve played all year,” Van Patten said. “It was awesome. They played pretty basketball, they moved the basketball and they stuck to the game plan, and it paid off. It’s our first league win, so it’s a nice one. And it’s our first win in a while, so that feels good too.”
Mountain Range’s Hannah Chavez entered the game averaging a team-best 11.3 points and scored a game-high 12 points.
The Panthers will continue the FRL schedule when they host Horizon on Wednesday before they wrap up the regular season with games against Fossil Ridge and non-league Heritage.