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Gilpin varsity basketball teams score big wins over Platte Canyon

by Patty Unruh

Both Gilpin High School’s boys’ and girls’ varsity teams triumphed over rival Platte Canyon (Bailey) on Saturday, December 8 in home non-league contests. The boys broke 80 points for the first time in a few years with their 84-45 win over the Huskies. The girls came in with a 39-22 victory. It was the first win this season for both teams, and they felt good about it, especially after tough losses to West Grand (Kremmling) two nights earlier.

The next home game is on Friday, December 14, versus South Park. The girls’ game starts at 4:30 p.m., and the boys play at 6:00 p.m.

84-45 Conquest

The first quarter of the boys’ confrontation with Platte Canyon (PC) began oddly. Only a few seconds into the game, one of the PC players was fouled but unable to score a free throw. Immediately after, Gilpin’s #11 Alex Wilhelm shot a 3-point field goal. The Huskies got in 2 points, and Gilpin’s #20 Will Lorenz brought the score to 5-2. So far, so good, but the scorekeepers had a bit of confusion for a while, and the scoreboard showed a variety of point totals, with the lead going to the Huskies when it should have gone to the Eagles. Finally, everyone agreed on a 9-5 tally in favor of Gilpin. The Eagles had an excellent first quarter, shooting 23 points to PC’s 7, and the fans and team were pretty pumped.

The second period was even better, with Gilpin racking up 25 points. A play that worked effectively several times for the Eagles was having one player race down the court, catch a long pass, and get right under the basket for a clean 2 points. #24 Nolan Lindberg wrapped up the half with a 2-pointer, bringing the score to 48-18.

The Eagles continued the good teamwork in the third quarter. The Huskies deserve credit for not losing heart; they scored 19 points during this period but suffered from repeated turnovers and fouls. With just a minute or so left in the quarter, the score stood at 72-37. Lorenz got a steal and then was fouled twice, making good on each free throw to bring the score to 76-37.

When the point spread widened to 78-37, the clock was allowed to run, making for a short fourth quarter. Gilpin players had 80 points in view and were going for it. There were two minutes to go when Lorenz scored the magic number. Wilhelm shot the final point of the game with a free throw, ending it at 84-45.

Gilpin’s regular first-string players were all high scorers — Will Lorenz, Alex Wilhelm, Nolan Lindberg, Stephen King, and Blake Boulter — and some of the less-experienced guys stepped up and performed well, including sophomore Braden Harris, who added 9 points to the board for Gilpin.

King was the scoring leader with 23. Lindberg contributed 13 steals, and the Eagles showed a good defensive effort with 12 deflections.

Lady Eagles’ Win

Following a disappointing loss to West Grand, the Gilpin team needed to step up its defense, which it definitely did in the Platte Canyon game. The girls improved their effort tremendously and enjoyed a successful 39-22 outcome.

Girls’ head coach Jeff Schuessler stated, “This first win feels good. The girls stepped up with a solid defense and showed a great effort.”

PC started out with a quick 2-point field goal and then added a free throw. The Lady Eagles #5 Sarah Trujillo answered with a 2-pointer, and #20 Alicia Johnson added a free throw. PC countered with another field goal, but Johnson tied the score at 5-5. The Huskies added 2 more to their total, and #33 Nicole Adams tied it up again 7-7. Johnson scored again with a 2-pointer, ending the quarter at 9-7.

The Lady Eagles racked up 16 points in the second quarter of what would be a rough-and-tumble match, while their opponents remained at 7 points throughout. Johnson was successful on 2 free throws, and Adams followed up with 4 points. Later in the quarter, Adams suffered a knee injury and was out for the remainder of the game. Despite this blow, the Lady Eagles continued to excel. Trujillo swished in 2 free throws and scored another 2-pointer to bring the tally to 23-7. #11 Lena Warren chipped in with 2 to leave it at 25-7 at the half.

The Lady Eagles continued an assertive defense throughout the second half, although the fourth quarter was fairly low-scoring. The Huskies had bright moments with a couple of 3-pointers.

Trujillo was selected as Gilpin’s Player of the Game, contributing 6 points and 2 steals. Johnson was point leader with 12. Warren came in with 4 assists.

Several of the newer players got in some time. #3 Noemi Correa and #24 Kendra Wenholz scored 2-pointers. Senior Kristi Schmidt got in a steal, as did Wenholz and freshman #34 Elizabeth Hebert. Junior #21 Joyce Jewell contributed a block.

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