Second-half surge pushes Byers over Clear Creek girls basketball

A Dog-eat-Digger world

Corinne Westeman
cwesteman@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 1/18/22

There was a sliver of victory for Clear Creek at the end of the first half and beginning of the second. But like the phases of the moon, that crescent of light slowly vanished, and the Golddiggers …

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Second-half surge pushes Byers over Clear Creek girls basketball

A Dog-eat-Digger world

Posted

There was a sliver of victory for Clear Creek at the end of the first half and beginning of the second.

But like the phases of the moon, that crescent of light slowly vanished, and the Golddiggers were left with another loss.

On Jan. 15, the Clear Creek girls basketball team hosted the Byers Bulldogs, whose second-half runs helped them win 41-32.

“We stopped defending them in transition, and we fouled at the wrong time,” Clear Creek coach Emily Buikema said.

Before going into the Jan. 18 game at Dawson, the Golddiggers were 3-6 overall and 0-1 in league play.

Of the team’s losses thus far, Buikema felt this was one of the team’s better ones. The Golddiggers fought and played well overall, she explained. It was Byers’ late runs that did them in.

The Bulldogs were off the leash early, taking a 6-0 lead. After Clear Creek senior Aiden Kocol hit a three-pointer, Clear Creek was only down 5-9 as the first quarter ended.

Byers went on a 7-0 run in the second, and Clear Creek called a timeout to break up the momentum. Kocol and senior point guard Loralei Murphy hit three treys combined in the last three minutes of the half, and narrowed the gap to 15-18.

As the third quarter started, a Clear Creek basket put the Golddiggers within one point of the Bulldogs. However, Byers capitalized on its free throws while Clear Creek didn’t.

Another scoring drought put the Golddiggers down 21-29 as the fourth quarter started, where Byers kept Clear Creek at arm’s length for the rest of the game.

“I think we got in our own heads,” Murphy said. “… I think our defense was amazing. The third quarter was the best (defense) we’ve played all year.”

Buikema agreed that the Golddiggers’ defense was effective for much of the game, and both she and Murphy praised their shooting and shot selection. The latter particularly commended Kocol for her impressive outside shooting.

Compared to last season, Murphy thought the Golddiggers were shooting much better, but her and her teammates’ overthinking has been costly all season.

“We get in our own heads every single game,” she continued.

With the Golddiggers playing two tough away games before hosting Highland on Jan. 21, Buikema described how thankful she was having Murphy back after she was injured for about a month.

Murphy was eager to return, as she hated to miss any more games during her senior year.

Clear Creek High School, Byers, Loralei Murphy, Kim Pappen, Anette Earl

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