Lady Spartans overcome rough first half, best Erie 60-41

By Dan Karpiel
The Surveyor

One game into their second trip through their Tri-Valley Conference (TVC) schedule, the Berthoud High School (BHS) girls’ basketball team has a firm grasp on third place in the conference. That is a position which, if the season ended today, would send the Lady Spartans to the state tournament.

Berthoud overcame some shooting struggles in the half and blew the doors off visiting Erie in the second to win 60-41 on Jan. 29, completing the season sweep of the Lady Tigers.

Erie took advantage of a sloppy opening to the game that saw Berthoud commit three turnovers on four possessions, making four of their first six shots, including a pair from beyond the arc to take a 10-6 lead by the 4:48 mark in the first quarter. Erie extended their lead to 14-9 before the Lady Spartans found some offensive rhythm, scoring eight points in the final two minutes of the period. A pair of free-throws from Maria Fate, the last two of her six first-quarter points, with just 21 seconds left in the opening period gave Berthoud their first lead of the game, 17-16.

The Lady Tigers defense remained tenacious, holding Berthoud without a field goal until only 3:44 remained before halftime. A jumper from senior Sydney Kouns cut Erie’s lead to just two, 22-20, and seemed to wake Berthoud up from their first-half slumber. A steal and lay-up from Kristina Cavey tied the game at 22. The senior made good on a pair of free-throws on Berthoud’s next possession before Taylor Armitage got a rebound and put-back to give the Lady Spartans a 26-22 halftime lead from which they would not look back.

“I told them, you’ve got to get focused; they practiced harder the last two days than they played in the first half tonight,” Berthoud Head Coach Randy Earl said following the game. “It took them a little while to get with it tonight, but once they did they were fine.”

A pair of jumpers from Cavey, who led all scorers with 28 points on the night, and a three-pointer from freshmen Sydney Meis, made up a 7-0 Berthoud run to open the second half. Cavey added five more while Armitage, Sarah Howard, (who Earl says he wishes would shoot more often as she “has as good of form as anyone on the team,”) and Zoe Goreski added buckets as Berthoud extended their lead to 10, 44-34, after three.

“That three from Sydney Meis there, that was huge, that did them in,” Earl said.

Berthoud’s defense forced seven turnovers and allowed Erie only one field goal, a three-pointer with just two minutes left in the game, in the fourth quarter. Goreski, who scored five points and grabbed five rebounds, all in the second half, explained, “The first half was kind of slow, they played hard on us on defense but we got a motivated at halftime and then really did well after that. We just really clamped down on defense in the second half.”

Goreski has seen increased playing time since the team returned from Christmas break, often having Armitage and Fate in Berthoud’s front court and helping the team in ways that do not always show up on the stat sheet.

“I worked really hard over the summer and in the offseason … and that really helped me to learn the game better, to understand it and know what to do at different times. My teammates have really helped me out too,” the senior explained.

Berthoud will play two straight home games against Roosevelt and arch-rival Windsor on Feb. 5 and 9, respectively, before traveling to Frederick and Holy Family.