Rebels can't hold on to early lead, fall to Eagles

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By Lauren Gaddie-Johnson

If only the Columbine girls basketball team could have sweet dreams, then maybe they could rebound from some recent losses and improve to a winning record in 2008.

The Rebels took a 54-48 home loss to Heritage in a Class 5A nonleague game Friday night, falling to 3-5 on the season.

“We are our own worst nightmare,” said Columbine senior Molly Ramirez, who scored all of her nine points in the second half. “We get in our heads what we want to do and we just lose track of what will work.”

The Rebels trailed 14-8 at the end of the first quarter, but true teamwork and baskets from just about every shooter in the second quarter helped the Rebels tie the game at 24 by halftime.

In the third quarter, Ramirez stepped up her game, scoring seven of her nine points with back-to-back shots, including a 3-pointer. A putback by Breanna Williams, followed by her baseline jumper, and a nice shot by Demitra Apergis put Columbine up 39-32.

“When we got ahead by six or seven, we got the momentum going,” said Williams, who finished with 11 points. “But, we needed to take care of the ball better and we just got lazy on defense.”

The Rebels led 42-39 by the end of the third quarter, but Heritage started scrambling up and down the court to put pressure on Columbine.

Williams went to the free-throw line for the first basket of the fourth quarter, but Heritage soon followed with several points of its own. Lexi Stirling and Brittany Semin combined for 10 points in the quarter. Semin’s steal and subsequent layup sealed the deal for the Eagles.

Columbine was held to just six points in the fourth; two coming from foul shots by Williams and from a basket apiece from Alyssa Maccan and Ramirez.

“In game situations, we get excited and the adrenaline starts flowing and we lose our game sense,” Williams said. “That just gives the other team the chance to get back in it.”

The other opportunity that the Rebels did not take advantage of was free-throw shooting. Columbine went just 6-of-14 from the foul line.

“We practice free-throws a lot, but in games we psych ourselves out for some reason,” said Apergis, who finished with 11 points. “Besides that, we just weren’t taking care of the ball. We need to work on being under control.”

Columbine coach Jim Bartok agreed.

“We missed a lot of inside shots,” Bartok said. “When you lose five games by seven points or less, it’s tough. I don’t know if it’s the girls’ psyche or what.

“We could be 8-0 right now with inside shots. I have to make sure they keep their heads up and they know that they’re good players.”

Heritage 14-10-15-15 -- 54

Columbine 8-16-18-6 – 48

Heritage: Kim Lockridge 13, Kari Pfannenstein 12, Lexi Stirling 9, Brittany Semin 7, Molly Rogan 6, Natalie Woulf 3, Liz Little 2, Kayla Yee 2.

Columbine: Randee Hayes 11, Demitra Apergis 11, Breanna Williams 11, Molly Ramirez 9, Alyssa Maccan 6.