Berthoud girls basketball season ends in Final Four

By Dan Karpiel

The Surveyor

It was not exactly the environment in which they foresaw themselves playing and it was not the result they had hoped for.

Photo by Angie Purdy
Berthoud’s Bre Fowler goes for a lay-up over the Mullen defender in the Final Four matchup last week in Denver. The Lady Spartans were defeated in overtime by a 64-57 final score.

The Berthoud High School girls basketball team faced off with Mullen in the 4A state Final Four in a nearly empty Denver Coliseum last Thursday. The game, played with extremely sparse attendance as a result of the decision by the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) to limit access due to the Coronavirus pandemic, ended in overtime in Mullen’s favor, 64-57.

As would be expected in a game that pitted two of the very best teams in the state, the score ping-ponged back and forth throughout the 32 minutes of regulation time. Berthoud entered the overtime period flush with confidence as a week prior they dominated the extra period against Erie, but this time it was Mullen who got the quick lead and forced Berthoud to play catch-up.

“I felt really good about us going into overtime mainly because the last game we played went into overtime so there’s a natural sense of confidence there and I think the girls felt the same way,” Berthoud Head Coach Alan Gibson said.

Mullen guard Megan Pohs began the overtime period with a lay-up to give her team a 54-52 lead and subsequently went a perfect six-for-six from the charity stripe. Her eight points in overtime proved decisive as Berthoud put only five on the scoreboard in the four-minute overtime period.

Pohs was electric throughout the game; the junior paced all scorers with 30 points that included a five-for 11 effort from beyond the arc and finished 11/12 from the free-throw line. Berthoud used different looks at different times to attempt to contain the 5’3” sharpshooter but that proved a difficult task.

“She just made some tough shots in a tough time and you have to give her a lot of credit for that, she made a lot of free-throws too,” Gibson said of Pohs. “I’s just a case of a really good player who had a really good night.”

Trailing by six to begin the second quarter, the Lady Spartans got hot. Emily Cavey drained a jump shot and Ally Padilla added one from downtown to go with a lay-up as part of an 8-2 run in the opening two minutes. When junior point guard Bre Fowler made good on an and-one, Berthoud took a 16-14 lead with 5:30 left on the second quarter clock.

The 21-point second quarter gave the Lady Spartans a 27-25 halftime lead and they kept their hot streak going to begin the third quarter. Padilla cashed in lay-ups on back to back possessions, both times set up by beautifully timed passes from Fowler and Cavey. Fowler later made good on a three-pointer and Celsey Selland went a perfect two-for-two from the line as Berthoud took their largest lead of the game, 37-30 at 2:30 mark.

Mullen finished the third quarter on a 7-2 run to get to within two entering the final eight minutes of regulation. The teams traded buckets throughout the fourth quarter. With just under two minutes remaining, Cavey, Berthoud’s leading scorer on the season, fouled out. While Gibson admitted the absence of the superstar senior was not ideal, he praised the team for keeping their cool.

And it was Padilla, a sophomore, who stepped up in a huge way. The youngest player on Berthoud’s starting five swished a three-pointer with 1:22 left on the clock to knot the score at 50. She then went a perfect two-for-two from the line to give Berthoud a 52-50 lead with just 42 seconds left.

Even though Mullen tied the game and ultimately won it in overtime, Berthoud cannot feel anything other than pride in their performance. While the loss proved to be the final game for the team’s seniors – Cavey, Selland, Maddie Barcewski and Julianne Evans Dennison – the play of the underclassmen, Padilla and Fowler, who scored 21 and 14 points, respectively, as well as Anndee Davidson, Martha Rennaker who contributed valuable minutes off the bench, assured a bright future for the program.

The loss, while disappointing, ultimately turned out to be a moot point as CHSAA cancelled the state championship games for all classes just hours after Berthoud and Mullen walked off the court.

“We talked about how this 2020 vision, this mantra we had, was born on a beach in California in June and we got to ride it and be with it all the way until the middle of March, you couldn’t ask for anything better,” Gibson said. “The type of people they, the type of women they’re growing up to be, it just made it a blessing and a joy to get up every day and be associated with them.”

It was indeed a season to be remembered.

Tags: , ,