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Girls basketball: Mead ends drought as it finally beats Holy Family

Jan. 19—LONGMONT — The drought against Holy Family is over for Mead girls' hoops.

Behind timely shots from its 14-year-old budding star, Madi Clark, a clutch finish from the ever-reliable junior Darby Haley, the Mavericks rallied to beat the Tigers, 51-46, on Friday for what they believe is their first win over their league rival in program history.

Holy Family had been 15-0 all-time against Mead coming into the night, per MaxPreps. Athletic director Chad Eisentrager and coach Mike Ward believed the program was JV-only before that.

"It's a huge win not only for those girls, but our program," Ward said. "We never panicked. I could look into their eyes and see they were never under duress. They were never worried."

Clark's career night offensively was a big reason why the surging Mavericks (12-2, 5-0 6A/5A/4A NCAC) were able to stay in arm's reach of the Tigers throughout the night.

Even when they couldn't buy a basket for much of the opening half.

Clark finished with 20 points — as every time Holy Family looked positioned to pull away, she connected on another big shot. Then, she and Haley took over late to push Mead's winning streak to five games.

"Gosh, I just love her," Haley said, looking over to Clark. "I think we all trust her so much because she's showed how composed she is, and how she can hit shots when we need it. I just think she's awesome."

Clark scored four straight points in the fourth quarter before Gianna "Money's" Wurth swished a 3 to cut the lead to one in the final minutes. After Lexxia Lopez pushed the advantage back to three for Holy Family, 46-43, Haley scored five straight, including a go-ahead 3 with 2:08 remaining.

"This really brings the team's confidence up," Clark said. "It brings us closer together and with trusting each other, and it helps us (moving) on."

"She's awesome," Haley said once more.

The 4A defending champ Tigers (12-1, 4-1) had maintained a lead for most of the night thanks to Coach Ron Rossi's trademark, harassing defense.

They kept ahead thanks to a big-time third quarter from sophomore Gracie Ward, who hit three consecutive 3s out of halftime, scoring 12 of her 14 points in the first 4:42 of the third. Then pushed its lead to seven early in the fourth, going up 43-38 on Sawyer Dana's sixth straight point.

The offense though, fizzled from there, as the Mavs held them scoreless for the final 3:15 of the game.

Rossi pointed to empty possessions.

"I thought we didn't take care of the basketball today," Rossi said. "They made plays and we didn't make plays down the stretch."

Rossi said he thinks this loss will serve his team well in the long run.

"We will learn a lot about ourselves," Rossi said. "I thought we got a little selfish today. And we're not a selfish club, and we got selfish."

Holy Family, ranked 4A No. 1 in the Coaches and Media poll, is home against Greeley West Tuesday.

Mead, third in 5A, is at Windsor Tuesday. The Mavericks went 1-2 against the Wizards last season and have lost deep in the playoffs to them the past two seasons.

Boys basketball: McLawrence and Angelo shine as Mead beats Holy Family

LONGMONT — Mead senior Dominic McLawrence appeared to get stepped on as the result of a tangle-up with an opposing player late Friday night.

The senior remained all smiles afterward. Probably because he'd gotten the better end of things most everywhere else.

McLawrence scored a season-high 23, Matthew Angelo 21, and Mead used 11 straight points from its standout tandem in the fourth quarter to pull away and beat Holy Family, 57-48.

McLawrence scored four straight for the Mavs (10-3, 4-1 NCAC), and Angelo converted a 3-point play to push the lead to 49-44 with 2:17 remaining. Right after, the pair sunk consecutive baskets to seal Mead's sixth win in seven games.

"We try taking over early," McLawrence said of his partnership with Angelo. "But we try and get our team involved early, so during the game they have a feel and have touches. They're shooting and knocking it down. It's not a one-man show."

Inside the fourth quarter of a game in the balance, McLawrence was engaged in a physical matchup with Holy Family's Joseph Portillo. The two bodied each other and jockeyed for position in an entertaining one-on-one battle.

They hit the floor a few times as a result. In one such, McLawrence was called for tripping Portillo as the two were intertwined down on the court. Portillo's shoe appeared to press against McLawrence's chest, and McLawrence's arm looked to be around Portillo's ankle, as they fought to get up.

"It's so much sweeter," McLawrence said of the win after an emotional battle in the fourth.

Mead is at Windsor Tuesday, while Holy Family (9-5, 3-2) is home against Greeley West.