Girls basketball enters break on hot streak

By Dan Karpiel
The Surveyor

Every team has their own identity. And the Berthoud High School (BHS) girls basketball team appears to be finding theirs.

Berthoud enters the two-week Christmas break on a hot streak, winning of three of their last four games; including the two most recent contents, non-conference home tilts that both ended in the Lady Spartans’ favor; 40-32 over Niwot on Dec. 16 and 52-48 over Thompson Valley on Tuesday.

Having entered the season with a dearth of varsity experience – only two on the team’s eight-player roster logged significant minutes on the floor last season – Berthoud has had something of a baptism by fire in the opening portion of the season. Yet the Lady Spartans are finding they are the true definition of a team, as players from up and down the roster find ways to contribute.

“We have to get things together a little bit more on a few things, we have to play together a little bit more, but it’s coming together,” Head Coach Randy Earl said after the win over Niwot. “It’s just varsity basketball, and we don’t have very many who’ve played a lot of varsity basketball. But we’re playing better defense, it’s getting better and we’re starting to do something on offense that we need to be doing.”

Three Berthoud players hit double-figures in scoring against Thompson Valley, with Sydney Meis hanging 15 on the board while Emily Cavey and Sarah Howard each added another 14. Senior center Kyleigh Milan grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds, while Howard pulled down nine while also tallying six steals. The game prior against Niwot, it was junior Ashlee Burdette swiping seven steals to go with six boards and a five-of-six effort from the charity stripe as the Lady Spartans battled all game against Niwot’s full-court press.

“It’s hard to click with a different set of players, especially when it’s a whole new set, and it’s me and Sarah trying to acclimate ourselves to new types of players we have,” said Meis, who was the only freshman on the team’s senior-laden squad last season. “As the days go on we’re getting so much better, every practice we’re getting better, every game we’re getting better, and we’re bonding well.” The sophomore point guard led all scorers with 18 points, 13 of which came in the first half, in the win over Niwot.

Berthoud had to overcome a furious fourth quarter rally by Thompson Valley on Tuesday night. The Lady Spartans entered final eight minutes holding a six-point lead, 36-30, but the visiting Eagles began scoring points in a flurry, assembling a 9-3 run in the final minutes of the game. Berthoud was able hold on, however, as Cavey scored six points in fourth after being in foul trouble early in the game. The freshman enters the break as Berthoud’s leading scorer with a 13.7 PPG average.

Berthoud enters the holiday break with a 6-3 record and begin their 14-game Tri-Valley Conference schedule on Jan. 3 when they welcome Erie (4-3) to the BHS gym.