BROOMFIELD — When Legacy girls basketball began the 2023 portion of its slate, the Lightning knew they had some ground to make up following a rough December.
After a loss to Broomfield on Jan. 21 — the last of a three-game skid — something clicked. They’ve been on the warpath ever since. On Tuesday night on their home court, the Lightning enjoyed their seventh straight victory with a 48-35 decision over visiting Poudre.
“I think what’s happening is that we just kind of accepted our roles and they’re playing their roles, and we’re just kind of coming together,” head coach Jody Welch said. “Except for maybe tonight, we’re doing a better job of taking care of the ball. We’ve always kind of struggled with turnovers and ever since the Broomfield game, we’ve done a pretty decent job of not turning the ball over.”
Senior shooting guard Madison Gage led her ladies with 16 points, nine of which she scored from behind the arc during the first half. She provided the spark they needed to close out the half, whereas her teammate, sophomore shooting guard Olivia Mortensen, gave the Lightning the added boost in the second half with her 10 total points.
Despite some sloppy ball-handling from both teams, Legacy relied on a strong defensive set to carry it to victory and built up an early lead that the Impalas couldn’t overcome.
Senior small forward Paityn Hulstrom began the game netting the first couple of baskets for the Lightning, igniting a nine-minute stretch of true team basketball. Throughout that time frame, no single Bolt scored more than one bucket, but six more ladies got on the board.
Then Gage lit a fuse.
Over the final two minutes, Gage drained two 3-pointers and floated in a backboard bouncer to give her Lightning the 29-14 edge going to the midway point.
“I was definitely really, really tired but I knew it was for the good of the team. I know we play well when we knock our shots down, so I just kept shooting,” Gage said. “I feel like that (Broomfield game) really lit a fire in us just to keep working at practice.”
Poudre fell behind as much as 18 midway through through the third quarter and, though the Impalas put up a good fight in the final frame, they never managed to drop that deficit back to single digits.
With the win, the Lightning improved to 11-10 and 9-3 in the Class 6A Front Range League and will look to keep their hot streak alive when they host Horizon on Friday night.
“It’s a good state for Legacy girls basketball when we’re not just happy anymore (with) winning,” Welch said. “We knew we could play better tonight, regardless of the score.”