Fossil girls secure home win against Mountain Range


Brandon Kruse

Ashley Steffeck (left) sets her feet to make a play.

Brandon Kruse

The Fossil Ridge girls basketball team (14-2) hosted the Mountain Range Mustangs (13-5) Tuesday night. The Lady Sabercats, coming off a tough road loss against first-ranked Highlands Ranch, hoped to continue dominating in conference play while Mountain Range sought what would be an impressive road win. In front of a small but energetic crowd, the ball tipped at approximately 6:35 PM MST at the Sabercat Gymnasium.

Mountain Range’s Lillian West opened the scoring with an easy left-handed layup. Fossil’s senior point guard Ashley Steffeck countered by nailing both free throws from the charity stripe. Following a series of turnovers, senior Allison Brich cashed in a three-point play after receiving a great feed underneath. However, Steffeck answered by scoring two consecutive 3-pointers that spurred a timeout by Mustangs head coach Bill Giampietro with 4:37 left in the first quarter. The timeout would quiet the crowd and allow the Mustangs to get within one at the end of the first quarter, trailing Fossil 13-12.

Brandon Kruse
Kaysen Hobbs shoots a jumper.


Unfortunately for the Mustangs, Fossil head coach Chad Salz implemented a full-court press that caused a series of turnovers. In addition, the game officials reffed the game with a close eye, calling almost anything that initiated contact. Though both Fossil and Mountain Range both racked up a number of fouls on the scorecard, it hurt Mountain Range the most. This was primarily due to Mountain Range haplessly fouling Fossil’s best player. Steffeck, who had an 82% free throw percentage to begin the contest, repeatedly found herself at the free throw line, and she made the most out of her opportunities. As a result, Fossil increased the lead to 37-30 at the half.

Once Fossil senior Kaysen Hobbs rattled in a 15-footer from the right elbow to begin the third quarter, Fossil found itself to cruise rather easily to a home victory. Offensive rebounding and tight defense enabled a 61-52 win for the Lady Sabercats. They improved to 15-2 on their 2018-19 season campaign while Mountain Range fell to 13-6.

Next, the Lady Sabercats will play the first game of a girls and boys doubleheader on Friday at rival Fort Collins. For Mountain Range, they return home to face a rival of their own in Horizon on Friday.