Joyce Case, of Pierce, keeps statistics during the Highland vs. Holly boys’ basketball game in the Colorado High School Activities Association 2-A state semifinals in Loveland. (Louis Amestoy/Greeley Tribune)
Joyce Case is furiously trying to keep up with the torrid pace of Highland High School’s boys’ basketball team.
Pen in hand, Case is keeping her own statistics for the Huskies — both boys and girls games. In the Huskies gym, there’s not much room for Case because she’s in a wheelchair and the best seat for her is in the corner near a trashcan, but she doesn’t mind.
For nearly a decade, Case has been keeping her own stats of Highland basketball games. It’s something she actually started when her children when young and attending high school in the Fort Collins area, but now she’s a die-hard Huskies fan.
“It makes me watch the game closer,’’ said Case, who sits next to her husband, Everett, who himself is an unmistakable sports fans with Huskies T-shirts, a Denver Broncos and sometimes, although incongruously, a Dodgers cap.
“We root for the Broncos and (Colorado State),” said Joyce, who calls Pierce home. “Although their not doing too well.”
She can’t make all of the away games, and she certainly didn’t miss the Huskies run into the finals of the Colorado High School Activities Association state 2-A playoffs — even if it ended with a disappointing loss to Yuma in the championship game.
However, in all three days of the tournament in Loveland, Case could be found in the corner of the floor at the Budweiser Events Center with paper and pen. She was there, leaning against the rail, and keeping stats.
From her spot, accompanied by Everett, Case was scouring through the program, meticulously noting every result through the tournament brackets. She questioned how the teams were ranked, looked over the season win-loss logs and looked for other nuggets about the opposing teams.
Case doesn’t just keep the points scored by girls players such as Laramie Woods, who she described as her favorite girls’ player, but she also tracks misses, rebounds, assists — you name it and she’s probably got a stat for it. In the lingo of basketball statistics, Case is keeping a “long” box score.
“This team really passes the ball around,” she said of the Highland boys.
She said she loved to watch Woods play, but that she also loved the aggressive and athletic play of the boys’ team.
Case is the grandmother to 15, and she’s a great grandmother for nine. She started the Highland stat keeping when grandchildren Kayden Hicks and Dakotah Dunn attended the school.
After the Huskies won their semifinal game on Friday night — earning their first trip to the finals in nearly 20 years — Case was all smiles. Even when the team lost in the title game to Yuma, she was there and the smile was still there.
She knew this team, she knew their stats and she — like everyone else from Highland — enjoyed the ride to a runner-up finish in the state.