Englewood girls take third in district playoffs

Pirates conclude banner season with 33-26 win over Fort Lupton

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The Pirates raised the bar for accomplishment as the Englewood girls basketball team finished the season with an 11-11 record that included wrapping up the season with a 33-26 win over Fort Lupton to take third place in the state Class 3A district playoffs.

“This was a great season for this team and for our program. We played well all season and this is the best season for Englewood girls basketball in at least the last 14 years,” Pirates coach Thomas Rode said. “I am so proud of our players. They used what they learned in every practice and game to help them improve. That showed as we played our best basketball down the stretch of the season and won six of our last eight games.”

This was a special year for most of the Pirates players and their coach as Rode became the head coach in the 2013-14 season, when the seniors on the 2016-17 team were freshmen.

“We sort of grew up together,” the coach said. “We won two games my first season as head coach. We just kept working to get better and this season our seniors were our leaders as we had a great year.”

Senior Sydney Gonzales played four years of varsity basketball for the Pirates.

“All four seasons were fun because I had been playing basketball with most of my teammates since middle school,” she said. “Coach Rode was new and he helped us learn his style of play. We didn't win a lot of games at first but we began to see we were a pretty good team and became more confident we could win.”

She said the 2026-17 season was a lot of fun but it was also sort of sad because she and her friends knew it was their last season playing basketball for the Pirates.

“I think we all focused on being the best team we could be because it was our last season at Englewood,” she said. “We really played well and it was a great season.”

Gonzales was one of 11 seniors on the varsity roster this season. She said she hopes the athletes who were on JV this season learned by watching the varsity and will help continue building a strong tradition of winning basketball at Englewood.

The senior athlete hardly had time to catch her breath as she planned to join the Pirates soccer team as they began practice Feb. 27. She said that will be a fun season too because many of her basketball teammates will also be playing soccer for Englewood.

Over the recently concluded girls basketball season the Pirates finished 3-4 in league and they were hosts for the district playoffs that began Feb. 20. Englewood beat the Denver School of Science and Technology, Green Valley Ranch 38-33 to advance to play Weld Central, with the winner advancing to the next round of the playoffs. Weld Central won the Feb. 22 game, 55-39.

But the Pirates rebounded to win the Feb. 24 third-place game against Fort Lupton. The score was tied 22-22 at the end of regulation but Englewood went on to win the game by outscoring Fort Lupton 11-4 in overtime to win 33-26.

The Pirates' average score was 40.4 point a game over the 22-game season. They also averaged 33.8 rebounds per game.

Molly Ostrowski was the season scoring leader as she scored 169 points in 22 games, which included 14 baskets from three-point range. She also pulled down 130 rebounds.

Teammate Courtney Schauer scored 149 points over the season and was the team leader in rebounds with 131. She also made 84 assists and 94 steals. Jen Korinek was next on the list of top scorers over the season as she scored 130 points.

Rode said since 11 of 13 varsity players graduate in June, next year there will be a lot of new faces on the Pirates girls basketball team.

“We have a couple reserves coming back, plus we had a very good junior varsity team, so I look at next year not as a time to rebuild but a time to reload,” he said. “We will be a young team but we should be pretty good, so we could surprise some opponents. So I am already looking forward to the summer program and the next basketball season.”

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