Palmer Ridge women’s basketball tests itself in combat

MONUMENT – Having the chance to compete against a team like Mullen is a risky proposition. But the Palmer Ridge women’s basketball team had their reasons.

After all, the team thinks it’s good. Like in the top 10 though. But they won’t talk if they’re not ready to walk. So when the opportunity to put Mullen on the schedule presented itself, the Bears jumped at the chance.

The No. 10 Class 4A Mustangs won the game 66-38, but the value of playing against Mullen will pay dividends come playoff time.

“The point of this game was that we felt like we had a pretty strong team and we wanted to see if that was really the case,” coach Jason Boyer said. “If we were okay we knew we were on the right track and if we weren’t okay we would know what we needed to fix.”

Since then, the Bears (11-5 overall, 4-2 5A/4A Pikes Peak Athletic Conference) have done everything they can to fix the shortcomings they found in that game. They have an outstanding scorer in Mia Womack who averages 18 points per game, but it’s the overall team effort that keeps the team firing on all cylinders.

“We’re a very dynamic team,” junior guard Natali Volk said. “(Womack) is a really good shooter from the outside. To have that and to be able to rely on the girls on the inside to bounce back and stuff like that is good.

Womack took on the task of helping the Bears keep pace with some tough opponents. She scored 26 points in a one-point win over The Classical Academy, a season-high 31 in a win over Fountain-Fort Carson and 24 points in a three-point loss to 5A No. 10 Doherty.

His scoring ability is only a small part of his skill set. She’s not afraid to shoot early, but it’s her intensity on the defensive side of the ball that really sets the tone at Palmer Ridge.

“I think defense is more important to set the tone early,” Womack said. “The attack will obviously come because of this defense. I think defense is more important to win games and championships.

Championships are obviously the goal. Participating in games like Mullen helps in that quest, even if the Bears didn’t emerge victorious by the end of this game. Getting to the playoffs is the first step in that mission and now fighting through the PPAC gauntlet, this is a team that feels like it will be battle tested when the 4A State Tournament begins this month. next.

“(Playing in the PPAC) is one of those double-edged swords,” Boyer said. “We welcome it because we know it will prepare us for the end of February and hopefully March.”

In summary, every night will be a test for the Bears between now and the end of the regular season. They suffered losses to Doherty and Pine Creek and still have Liberty and Air Academy on the schedule next week.

These are games that in their minds are winnable, but only if they work. And win or lose, these games will also help them prepare for the playoffs.

“It allows us to play better and more aggressively,” Womack said. “We will know what our strengths are and where we are not the best so we can get back to training and work to improve.”


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