The Poudre High School girls basketball team put a little extra into the final minutes of its win against previously unbeaten Fossil Ridge on Friday night at Poudre High School.
The Impalas turned a 10-point lead with 4 minutes left into a 53-32 win against the Colorado Associated Press’ second-ranked Class 5A girls basketball team.
“We overlooked them thinking that we would win,” said Fossil Ridge post player Kellee Willer. “We just played as individuals, not as a team.”
Poudre (13-5, 9-3 5A Front Range League) wasn’t particularly impressed by the margin, which ranged from 15-20 throughout the second half save for a fourth-quarter hiccup.
“It’s the way that we expect to play all the time,” Poudre coach Curtis Glessman said. “I’ve been a little disappointed that we didn’t come out with that kind of intensity and desire the first game (which Fossil Ridge won 52-46).”
That margin is bound to impress the state, which has thus far left the Impalas unranked beyond a preseason CHSAANow.com poll. Fossil Ridge (18-1, 11-1 5A Front Range League) has climbed up the polls all season, reaching its highest ranking (No. 2) for the first time Monday.
Polls didn’t matter.
“They were ready to play and we weren’t,” Fossil Ridge coach Chad Salz said. “Our girls came in overconfident and thought they were going to go through the motions and get a win. But Poudre was ready to go. We got outplayed, out-coached tonight. It was a top-to-bottom butt whooping.”
That whooping started inside, where Poudre outrebounded Fossil Ridge 33-18. Fossil Ridge center Brooke Pemberton, who normally averages nine rebounds per game, had just one.
Poudre twins Ashley and McKenzie McDaniel combined for 23 rebounds. Ashley had 17 points, and a smile on her face afterward.
“It felt good,” McDaniel said. “It was a game we really wanted to win.”
The Poudre players wouldn’t say it, but the 10-point margin with 3 minutes, 52 seconds left in the fourth quarter didn’t seem enough. After Fossil Ridge’s Savannah Smith, a University of Northern Colorado signee, fouled out, Poudre went from prevent defense to more pressure. Smith finished with a team-high 13 points.
Colorado State University signee Myanne Hamm had two of her six steals in the final 2 minutes. She also had six of her 17 points in that span.
This type of performance, Hamm said, has always been possible for Poudre.
“When we play really well together, good things happen,” Hamm said. “And that’s what happened.”
Tyler Silvy covers high school sports for The Coloradoan. Reach him at TylerSilvy@coloradoan.com. Connect with him at Facebook.com/TylerSilvy or @TylerSilvy on Twitter.