Fountain-Fort Carson's size prevails, but it's still a work in progress.
Sophomore Keira Mitchell and junior Aiyana Mitchell represent both the potential of the Trojans, as well as how powerful they are already after a 58-57 win over 4A's No. 10, The Classical Academy on Friday, Dec. 10.
Keira swatted away back-to-back, close-shot chances with under 10 seconds left to go to clinch the win. Aiyana, for her efforts, scored 14 points, most of which came in the second half.
"They're known for their height," coach LouAnn Guiden said. "But, when people game plan for that, they also have to game plan for our speed and quickness. We have a little bit of everything."
The speed and quickness, at least Friday, was provided by junior Michaela Bosmans. She dropped a team-high 21 points with a pair of 3-pointers mixed in.
When the size wasn't finding space early, the guards did. At halftime, Guiden implored her team to make the switch in the second half. TCA lost senior Juliet Coyle — one of the few players with size for the Titans — in the final minutes of the first half.
So, when the Mitchell duo came out for the last 16 minutes, the ball was in their hands constantly down low.
"We took the halftime speech to heart," Kiera said. "We came together and decided we had to go out bigger and win it."
Coyle's exit didn't slow the Titans, at least not the entire second half.
TCA continued to claw back from deficits, eventually tying the game at 52-52 with under two minutes left.
On their final handful of possessions, the Titans tried to drive and find layups, but were met with two large hurdles. Junior Katharine Roach nailed a mid-range jumper off the glass to take a one-point lead, but it was the final bucket of the night for coach Frank Haist's squad.
Before her blocks, Keira sank a pair of free throws, too, to aid the Trojan effort.
Keira and Aiyana have what it takes already to compete with 5A size. The team will head to Las Vegas, NV in a week to test that theory further. Above all, coach Guiden knows the two simply need time to gel.
"They just have to continue to work," Guiden said. "We're going to continue to see good bigs. Our athletic director does a great job of out-of-league scheduling. I think that's going to help us.
"Our bigs do a lot, but when people scout us, they'll overlook the rest. We have what it takes to be a good 5A program."
For the Titans, they'll have the weekend to prepare for Palmer Ridge Tuesday, Dec. 14.
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