BROOMFIELD – There were some things working against Skyview’s girls’ basketball team this season.
It was the first full season for the Wolverines in two years, thanks to COVID-19. Five team members were underclassmen.
And still, Skyview won 21 games of 25 starts and advanced to Round of 16 in the state 4A girls basketball tournament. Two of those underclassmen saw playing time in the season finale at Holy Family on March 1. The Tigers won 54-41.
“I like our odds next year,” said Skyview coach Chris Kemm. “We’re moving up to (class) 5A, unfortunately. But the only way we get better is to keep building and keep training. We have to develop about 90% of our kids. We’re not unfamiliar with it. We have a good young corps that lost only two games this year.
“With the young girls we have, they have a bright future,” Kemm added. “We have others that we didn’t pull in the game. We wanted to give the seniors a chance to pull it out. They played hard. Holy Family is just better than us.”
Essynce Contreraz scored 21 points, and Mariah Quintana added 13 for the Tigers. Skyview’s top scorer was senior Mikylah Espinosa, who scored 20 points. Leila Estrada, a freshman, scored seven, and Emma Long added six.
“We worked really well by passing the ball to each other,” said Holy Family center Maggie Dooley, who scored six points. “Our chemistry was really good, and our defense was pretty good. That’s what we emphasize.”
HFHS jumped out to an early 10-point lead, only to see Skyview erase that in the second quarter. Marina Boltz scored five points on successive possessions, and Espinosa followed that with seven points in succession. The Tigers answered by scoring the last seven points of the first half, five of which came off the fingertips of Contreraz.
“We have a lot of good set plays. (Coach Ron) Rossi is a great coach,” Dooley said. “He knows what’s going to work. He scouts well beforehand. A lot of that was because of him.”
The Tigers steadily pulled away in the second half. Skyview was able to close the gap to three points late in the third quarter but couldn’t get any closer.
“They did a good job of taking away line of sight,” Kemm said. “They forced us to take shots we weren’t comfortable taking, that we weren’t in a position to take. If we moved it a couple more times, maybe we could have had a better shot. When you’re playing
a really well-coached team – they are so much larger than us – they eat up so much more space than we do. We have to get in more passes than they do.”
Skyview loses eight seniors to graduation.
“It’s sad for our seniors. They are special kids who have been part of the program for a long time,” Kemm said. “To see it end this way is not the way you want to end it. But in Colorado basketball, only five teams get to finish on a high note. Ours ended a little sooner than we wanted to. We work hard in practice to make practice the hardest thing they do. The game is much easier. Even though the shots weren’t falling, they were working hard the whole time.”