Central can’t overcome fatigue, Columbine at Fruita Invitational
The Central High School girls basketball team was ready for revenge, but that will have to wait.
The Warriors hoped to take out their frustration from Thursday’s loss to ThunderRidge on Columbine on Friday night at the Wildcat Invitational at Fruita Monument High School.
Central came close, but ran out of gas in a 56-48 loss.
“I would like to write that off to being tired from battling (Thursday),” Central coach Todd Dixon said. “That was not us out there. We have to find a way to battle through exhaustion and be the team we know we are capable of being.”
The Warriors showed their tiredness in the fourth quarter. Trailing by only two entering the quarter, Central had trouble containing Columbine’s Olivia Leyshock, who scored six points in the quarter.
The main example of the Warriors not having enough was the fourth quarter where despite entering the quarter down only 40-38 allowed the Rebels to outscore them 16-10 in the final eight minutes.
The Rebels’ other post player, Randee Hayes, also had a big game, leading the team with 23 points and grabbing six rebounds.
“We came out flat in the second half,” Central’s Amy Kame said. “We didn’t have any energy and I felt like we could have done a lot better with our offense.”
Kame finished with 24 points, but like the rest of her team had a tough second half. She went 1 for 7 from the floor in the third quarter. Kame is the Warriors’ main scoring threat and other teams have taken notice — putting more than one defender on her to limit her effectiveness.
“We have to run our offense so we can get her running through some screens instead of trying to score immediately off the dribble,” Dixon said. “But those are things we can work on.”
The Warriors ran into some of the same problems as they did against ThunderRidge. Columbine’s zone defense vexed them, limiting them to only five points in the third quarter.
Dixon says the team is still grasping his system.
“To the girls’ credit, they are running a different system and that takes some growing pains,” Dixon said. “There is no doubt that they have the fortitude to come out of this slump and get it done in the games ahead of us.”
The two teams played a competitive, high-scoring first half with the Warriors leading 33-29 at halftime.
“Defensively we didn’t do too bad,” Dixon said. “I thought we did a good job of pressuring them but we ran out of gas.”
Central is now 0-2 in the tournament, losing two frustrating games to Front Range opponents. Dixon said the team will learn from the losses.
“The girls in the locker room know they are better than what they have showed,” Dixon said.
“But there are some things we have to correct immediately if we want to reach our goal of the Final 8.”
Haleigh Higgins added 12 points for the Warriors, who play Battle Mountain today.