The Columbine girls basketball team got a reminder Thursday that all four quarters in a game are crucial.
The Rebels took a 55-49 Class 5A nonleague loss to Denver East after falling flat in the second quarter and scoring just six points – four of which came from the foul line.
“We didn’t shoot as much and we have to go out there and shoot,” said Columbine junior Alyssa Maccan, who finished with 12 points. “They started noticing that we were going backdoor and they took that away from us and made us shoot outside.”
Columbine had a 14-9 lead at the end of the first quarter, but the Angels outscored the Rebels 20-6 in the second and took a 29-20 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, Columbine’s Randee Hayes added seven points, but looked as if she was fouled several times as she posted up. However, she was only sent to the foul line twice in that period.
“We thought Randee had the opportunity to be at the free throw line and wasn’t given that chance,” said Columbine head coach Jim Bartok. “If they’re going to take that away from us then we have to come up with another plan. It’s a little frustrating because we’ve been in every game.”
Turnovers were also a problem for the Rebels. Each time Columbine attempted a long pass, an East defender stepped into the path of the ball and came up with a steal and a layup.
“We need to be smarter on our passes,” said senior Molly Ramirez, who finished with eight points. “We’ll be doing good in a game and then we get down by a few points and we freak out and start throwing bad passes. We need to work on that.”
Along with Hayes’ seven points in the third, Demitra Apergis and Maccan each hit a 3-pointer and helped Columbine close the gap by the end of that quarter to 38-35.
East went up by seven midway through the fourth, 46-39, but Apergis and Maccan again landed threes which kept the Rebels in the game.
Maccan hit her third 3-pointer of the night to bring the score to 50-44 and Columbine’s next basket was Apergis’ third three, which made the score 52-47.
“I wish those shots would’ve come in the first half,” Maccan said. “If we would have been shooting like that in the first half, we would’ve kept up with them better.”
In the final 30 seconds of the game, Columbine sent the Angels to the free throw line three times. East went 3-of-6 from the line and put the game out of reach.
“Their guards were quick and physical,” said Apergis, who led the team in scoring with 13 points. “Defense for us was harder than usual. They dropped it off to the big girls and we need better rotation down there.”
Bartok said the team needs to be aware of their transitions.
“We’ve got to take better care of the ball,” Bartok said. “East is a pretty good team and we’d score, but then we’d break down on defense. We just can’t break down on those transitions.”