Berthoud girls dominate Golden 69-46, advance to Sweet 16

By Dan Karpiel

The Surveyor

Photo by Angie Purdy – Berthoud senior Emily Cavey splits the defense on her way to a lay-up in a game earlier this season. Cavey turned in a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds in Berthoud’s second-round playoff game Friday night.
 

They wear shirts that read “one team, one family” and the Berthoud High School (BHS) girls basketball team proved that is not simply a slogan in Friday night’s second-round playoff game in the Rusty Mathena Gymnasium at BHS. Berthoud saw four players hit double-figures in scoring, got key contributions off the bench and thrived on the defensive end of the floor as they cruised to a 69-46 win over Golden to advance to Sweet 16 round of the 4A state playoffs.

The Lady Spartans off to a red-hot start in each half, building a commanding 19-2 lead after the first quarter and then beginning the second half with a 12-0 run to take a 45-19 lead before three minutes had elapsed in the third quarter.

“I’m really happy with the way we started both halves, we’ve talked a lot the first three minutes of each half and I thought that we really did a nice job with that,” Berthoud Head Coach Alan Gibson said after the win.

Berthoud’s defense has been the backbone of the team all season long and Friday night’s playoff game was no different. The Lady Spartans forced five Golden turnovers in the opening three minutes of the first quarter. A steal and layup from senior forward Maddie Barcewski put Berthoud ahead 9-2 with 4:07 left on the first-quarter clock.

As it has all season, Berthoud’s bench came up big at key moments in the game. Getting on the floor in the middle of the first quarter, sophomore guard Anndee Davidson drained three-pointers on back-to-back possessions to push the Lady Spartans’ lead to 16-2 lead at the 1:25 mark. Davidson, who in the second quarter scored her eighth point of the game when drove from the top of the key past three Golden defenders for a lay-up, credited her teammates’ support as a critical factor in her breakout performance.

“I have a great team and they really encourage me when I come off the bench to have courage in myself and believe in myself,” Davidson said. “I think it really means a lot, it helps us through a lot of things, we definitely play together as a team.”

Gibson was highly complimentary of Davidson’s play off the bench saying, “Anndee gave us a huge spark, she’s put in a ton of work and she has earned and deserves an opportunity and that’s exactly what you want to see, someone make the most of their opportunity … for her to come through in a situation like this, in an environment like this, in a big game like this, it was really huge lift for us.”

The fast start is nothing new for Berthoud as the team has routinely dominated their competition early in games. As senior center Celsey Selland, who scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds explained, “I think with every game there comes nerves, you’re never going to have one where you’re totally chill because you never know what’s going to happen because like (Gibson) says, the score always starts at 0-0 so we just had to go out there and make sure we played our game.”

Berthoud swiped a whopping 24 steals in the 32-minute contest, junior Bre Fowler pacing the team with seven swipes and Barcewski adding six more. Forcing the opponent out of their game plan early with a full-court press has been Berthoud’s bread and butter this season and, as Golden learned, it can be a tremendously effective weapon in the arsenal.

“I think a big thing for us getting leads is our press, get after it early and often and getting those steals and those nice, easy lay-ups,” Selland said when asked about how Berthoud’s defense often sets up their offense by creating opportunities for quick buckets.

Senior standout Emily Cavey turned in a double-double on the night, going for 15 points and grabbing a team-high 10 boards. Fowler paced Berthoud with 18 points and added three assists while Barecewski scored 10 points and pulled down five rebounds.

“The farther you go, the better the teams are going to be, you have to know that, you have to realize that all the little things matter,” Gibson said. “Staving off runs and making runs of your own is really important because the better the teams are, the more apt they are to make those runs on you.”

And on to the next round they will go.

“We’ll be playing here, we feel good about playing in front of our home fans, what a crowd, what a gym, what an environment, it’s all because of our community, and our student body and everyone who is behind us,” Gibson said.

Berthoud will host No. 13 seed Falcon Tuesday night March 3 at 7 p.m. for the Sweet 16 round. Falcon defeated Greeley Central by a 72-59 final Friday, Feb. 28,.

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