Cheers and pep band music rocked the walls of Englewood’s new north gymnasium when several hundred fans ignored the snow and cold Dec. 4 to fill the stands as the Englewood High School girls basketball team faced Alameda in the first varsity game in the facility.
Winter sports competitions were held in the EHS Fieldhouse for about half a century.
But this year, all the winter sports teams will be in the north gymnasium for home contests because the field house is undergoing total remodeling as part of the project creating a seventh- through 12th-grade campus on the high school site.
Before the Dec. 4 varsity contest, Superintendent Brian Ewert tossed up the ball for the ceremonial tipoff in the new gymnasium
When the game started, Alameda scored the first basket but it was all Englewood from there as they rolled to a 52-20 win.
“It is great to start the home court season with a win like this,” Coach Thomas Rode said after the game. “There was a lot of emotion surrounding tonight’s game as our brand new program came into this brand new gym to play rival Alameda.”
He said the crowd was amazing as they cheered and screamed for Englewood teams playing at all three levels, freshman, junior varsity and varsity.
The win gave the Pirates a 1-1 season record after they lost the Dec. 3 opener at Denver North, 34-30 before besting Alameda.
For their next game, Englewood was to travel to Sheridan Dec. 6, and then they were to return home Dec. 13 against Jefferson. They wrap up the December portion of their schedule on the road Dec. 17 against Arvada.
On Dec. 4, after Ewert’s role in the ceremonial tipoff, Alameda scored two points on a layup before Englewood’s offense got rolling. The home team then pushed the ball up the court and scored on layups as well as outside shots, outscoring Alameda 19-2 through the rest of the quarter.
Englewood’s lead stretched to 27-9 at halftime as Elijah Daughtry spearheaded the attack with 18 first-half points.
“It was a special night and I had a good time,” Daughtry said after the game. “It was special to play the first game in the new gymnasium. It was great going against a rival like Alameda and it was a big boost for our team to have a big crowd in the stands cheering us on.”
She said this is her senior season and she took the court ready to play.
For the game, she scored 23 points, pulled down 10 offensive rebounds and five rebounds off the defensive boards and blocked two shots.
Her scoring included a pair of 3-pointers and 16 points on pull-up jump shots. She smiled and said those shots were from her spot on the floor and she said it was a great way to start the season.
Rode substituted frequently so that everyone on the roster got into the game, but the team continued to click and went on to win the game, 52-20.
Game statistics show Miranda Holman had six points, pulled down six rebounds and had a team-high five steals.
Senior Kadie Kavinsky contributed to the win as she had seven points and three steals.
“It was a good game for me and, since Alameda is one of favorite rivalry games of the season, it felt good to get this win,” she said. “Our new coach pushes us hard to help us improve our play and that showed up in how we did tonight.”
She said the night was special with the new gym and all the fans in the stands.
“I was surprised to see so many people come out tonight,” she said. “Even one of the officials commented about our good, enthusiastic fans. I told him we were lucky to have them.”
Kavinsky said her goals for the season are to get closer to her teammates and to be a senior leader.
“I also want to work on getting off more shots and scoring more points,” she said.