Continental League play began tonight as Mountain Vista hosted Highlands Ranch. In what looked to be a competitive game, Highlands Ranch came out firing and didn’t look back. The Falcons took this one wire-to-wire, defeating the Golden Eagles handedly, 71-31.
The Falcons could not be stopped in this one behind the 51-points scored by senior duo, Jamie Bain and Kasey Neubert. Bain was a problem for Mountain Vista as she commanded attention when she had the ball, helping her find the open shooter on multiple occasions. Neubert is a force to be reckoned with inside – she found ways to assert her strength and peel off of coverage for clean looks all game long.
On the other side of the ball, Mountain Vista struggled to find a consistent rhythm. At times, the Golden Eagles showed flashes of keeping tempo with Highlands Ranch, but a lid on the basket kept them from capitalizing. Countless shots wound up in the hands of Falcons’ defenders as shot after shot rimmed out.
The first half came to a close with a 30-point lead for Highlands Ranch, as the teams went into the locker rooms with the Falcons leading, 45-15. At the break, Bain and Neubert combined for 33 points – Neubert scoring an equal amount of points as all of Mountain Vista’s girls, and Bain outscoring the entire Golden Eagles squad by three. An incredible three-quarter court pass by Highlands Ranch’s Payton Muma highlighted the half. Muma put the ball on a dime for an uncontested layup for the Falcons! The half was also witness to a phenomenal defensive effort by Highlands Ranch as they held Mountain Vista scoreless for over five minutes spanning both quarters – allowing only five points in all to be scored in the second.
Highlands Ranch kept their foot on the gas in the second half. Head Coach, Caryn Jarocki, kept Bain and Neubert in the game until just under two minutes were left to play – one could argue as a statement for the rest of the Continental League to take note of. In the end, Mountain Vista found themselves on the losing end of the league play opener, while Highlands Ranch used the game as a statement game as they inch closer to a showdown with the state’s top-team, Regis Jesuit one month and a day from tonight’s match.
Seniors, Jamie Bain and Kasey Neubert were the clear stars of the game. Bain finished her night with 25 points, while Neubert finished with a game-high 26 points. Freshman Taylor Ray capped her night with 10 points to round out the top-three scorers for the Falcons. In talking with Coach Jarocki after the game, she noted tonight’s dominant performance came without key contributor, senior Autumn Watts, who was sidelined with a lower leg injury. With her in the line up, this senior trio looks to be unstoppable.
While the Golden Eagles struggled on both ends of the ball, one thing is clear: they are young. Rivaling Valor Christian in terms of youth, the Golden Eagles play with only one senior and three juniors. Given time, experience will catch up to this squad who is tested in one of the most difficult leagues in the state. Height is also a factor to the team as their average height is 5’7”. The top-three scorers for Mountain Vista were, sophomore Berit Brookfield (8), junior Amy Holland (7), and sophomore Amiya Robinson (6).