After watching just a couple Front Range League girls basketball games this season, it’s already become apparent that the conference is not for the weak (and consequently, not for the poor at free-throw shooting, either).
During Loveland’s 51-45 win over Fossil Ridge last week, there were 43 fouls called between the two teams. A week prior to that, in the Indians’ 44-40 win over Fort Collins, there were 35 combined fouls. After the Loveland-Fossil Ridge game, not surprisingly, both coaches noted the physical play.
“There’s so much parity in our league that each night it’s just physical, people pushing each other around,” Loveland coach Chris Michael said.
“Our northern part (of the league) is just beating up on each other,” added first-year Fossil Ridge coach Chad Salz.
With its win over Greeley West on Tuesday, Loveland improved to 4-1 in the league, good for second behind only second-ranked Monarch (Fort Collins is also 4-1, but Loveland gets the edge because of its head-to-head win).
Though undersized, the Indians appear to be well-suited for games that feature so much contact, as Michael routinely runs out a lineup of 11 players or more — even with one of its captains, Colissa Bakovich, currently out with a foot injury.
“We don’t have very much height, we’re all pretty short. Physicality is what we can use, and our strength, and our quickness,” Loveland’s Brooke Nyenhuis said after the win over Fossil Ridge last week. “So we like that. It just pumps us up to do better — I mean we work off that.”
Adding fuel to the physicality fire is the fact that the six teams up here in the north (Loveland, Fossil Ridge, Poudre, Fort Collins, Rocky Mountain and Greeley West) each play each other twice.
And the girls’ half of the Front Range League isn’t just physical, either. It’s darn good, too.
Though No. 2 Monarch and No. 4 Legacy are the only two teams ranked in the latest Denver Post/CHSCA poll, six of the nine teams in ever so popular “others receiving votes” column are from the Front Range (Loveland, Fort Collins, Fairview, Horizon, Poudre and Rocky Mountain).