Littleton’s Penny Urquhart played with her shoes tied and helped the Lions girls basketball team down Dakota Ridge 46-40 in a game played on Jan 25.
Urquhart scored all of Littleton’s 11 first-quarter points and then hit a clutch 3-point basket in the final minute of the game as the Lions stretched their winning streak to 10 games.
“At the beginning of the game and during warmups I wasn’t shooting well and retied my shoes,” Urquhart explained. “I started making shots. It was nice.”
The 5-foot-10 junior finished with a game-high 17 points and 14 came in the first half.
“No, I didn’t tie my shoes at halftime,” Urquhart added. “After half they were taking away the shot so I just drove in and kept getting the ball to Dalana (Jakovljevic).”
Urquhart’s decisive closing basket with 51.5 seconds to play was her fifth 3-pointer of the game and came with the Lions holding onto a 41-40 lead after the Eagles had rallied from a seven-point deficit late in the third period.
“Jacy (Chandler) got a rebound over three of the taller girls and it was really just a perfect pass,” she said. “I didn’t do much but put it up there and it went in.”
Urquhart’s basket gave Littleton a 44-40 lead and then Chandler, after a steal and rebound, swished two free throws with 19.3 seconds to play to account for the final margin.
Jakovljevic, a 6-2 senior, had a double double against Dakota Ridge with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Chandler, a 5-10 junior, contributed 10 points.
Littleton, ranked 10th in the CHSAANow.com 5A state ratings, improved to 11-4 overall and 5-0 in the Jeffco 5A/4A league.
Coach Adam Williams’ Littleton team made six three-point baskets in the first half but started getting more shots from inside the lane in the last two quarters.
“We talked a lot about working inside, outside at the beginning of the game,” said Williams. “We knew they play a two-three. They have a ton of length. Our post players usually have an easier time than tonight. We were trying to kick in and out but we got a little impatient. We were a little hot at the beginning.”
Littleton saw its winning streak snapped when the team played unbeaten D’Evelyn in a first-place road battle on Jan. 28. The Lions dropped a close 55-53 decision to the Jaguars, who were ranked second in the 4A poll.
“We just have to keep playing the way we’ve been playing,” said Urquhart. “Everyone on this team, when it’s their best night, we are one of the best teams in the state. We have a really tough schedule and a tough league and anybody can beat us. So we just have to keep playing hard.”
“We have to obviously continue to get better every game,” he said. “This group has done just an excellent job of just playing together. We have a lot of kids that can score and do things. They’ve worked extremely hard. If we continue to do that I think we give ourselves a chance. It’s tough to scout us when we do that.”