Matthew Jonas/Staff Photographer
LONGMONT — In the ever-changing world of high school athletics, depth can be a dangerous attribute. Mead girls basketball perfectly fits that bill, and that breadth of talent is carrying them to the Class 4A Great 8 after a 60-43 home victory over Thompson Valley during the round of 16 on Tuesday night.
The Mavericks, who entered the game seeded fifth in the 4A state tournament, overcame the March Madness stigma of a 5-12 matchup to send the 12th-seeded Eagles packing. Thanks to early production from senior shooting guard Maddox Boston and a barrage of 3-pointers from there on out, the Eagles never got the chance to take off.
Junior guard Kyra Haan led the Mavericks with 15 points, but Boston was right on her tail with 14 of her own. Freshman guard Darby Haley and senior guard Edie Morrow just barely missed out on double digits as they both netted nine points.
“This has been our message to them all year. We have seven kids that can score in double figures on any given night,” head coach JR Sagner said, his team now 20-5. “When you want to match up with us and defend us, it makes it challenging because it seems like it’s just a different kid every night. It was Brooklynn (Charlo) the game before, Maddox and Kyra tonight. It’s fun. They’re willing to play unselfish, they’re willing to share the basketball.”
The Mavericks and Eagles (20-5) both got off to a bit of a slow start as neither were knock off the early rust offensively. Boston decided to change that, as she netted seven of the Mavericks’ nine first-quarter points to get things going. The Eagles, on the other hand, couldn’t sink a field goal until the 1 minute, 18 second mark of that first frame.
After that, Mead started heating up from the perimeter and built up a 26-14 halftime advantage that only grew from there.
Boston believes her team’s defensive intensity will aid her girls moving forward as they advance to the next round of the 4A state playoffs, where they’ll face No. 29 Severance. The Mavericks beat the Silver Knights, 82-38, on Jan. 8 in their only meeting of the season.
“I feel like even though we didn’t play full-court defense tonight, our half-court defense is also suffocating,” she said. “Our (3-point scoring) kind of depends on the night but when it’s on, it’s on. We get really hot really quickly, but I think our finishing tonight played a big part in our offense tonight as well. Both go hand-in-hand with each other.”