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Girls basketball: Mead in peak form Friday night

Mavericks beat Vista PEAK Prep, head to 5A quarterfinals


LONGMONT — The only thing that could stop Mead’s dominant second quarter was the halftime buzzer.

Up just 27-24 midway through the period of their Class 5A girls state second round playoff game, Mead unleashed a 16-1 run to enter intermission in full command of Vista PEAK Prep on Friday night at MHS. The No. 5 seed Mavericks kept their edge for the remainder of play and sent the visiting No. 12 Bison home, 79-53.

Senior Kyra Haan led the Mavericks’ charge with a career-high 29 points, including 11 in that pivotal second quarter.

“I think It (comes) down to my teammates,” Haan said. “They gave me really good passes that gave me the ability to score. This team, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

Mead (20-5) now advances to the 5A quarterfinals, where it will battle a familiar opponent in Windsor. While Windsor knocked the Mavericks out of last season’s Class 4A semifinals, the teams split the season series this year with Mead winning the last matchup, 71-70, in overtime.

The No. 4 Wizards beat No. 13 Centaurus, 62-33, in their second-round game.

Haan said that while facing Windsor does bring some added excitement, the key for Mead will be to “focus on us.”

As Haan alluded to, Mead’s offensive attack against Vista PEAK was far from singular. Three other Mavs finished in double figures as sophomore Darby Haley followed with 16 points, junior Gianna Wurth scored 14 and senior point guard Charlotte Brennan added 12.

“When we can get that many players in double figures, we’re hard to beat,” said head coach Mike Ward. “How we are sharing the ball is phenomenal. We’re playing for each other and we’re excited for each other. When they sense that, you can see their game changes, their body language changes and they play with a little bit of a swagger.”

After nearly blowing a nine-point first quarter lead, Mead got its swagger back thanks to an improved effort defending Vista PEAK’s 3-point shooters.

“We actually started defending and closing down gaps,” Ward said. “We know that they wanted to get downhill, and we did a much better job of getting out on shooters, plugging up gaps and not giving them such good looks. It all started on the defensive end and once that got rolling, then our offense got rolling.”

Haan’s analysis of Mead’s run was right in line with her coach.

“We really picked it up on defense and we got a lot of fast breaks,” Haan said “It was just the whole staying consistent thing and just believing in ourselves the whole time and not giving up no matter what happened the last play.”

The Class 5A quarterfinals are set for Thursday at the Denver Coliseum.