EATON, Colorado - All of the strategy the Grand Valley High School girls basketball team used in its Class 3A Regional Tournament game against Bishop Machebeuf worked in the Cardinals' favor.
Not quite everything went Grand Valley's way, however, and Machebeuf took advantage.
Haley Grandon scored a game-high 18 points, and Machebeuf hit nearly all of their foul shots in the fourth quarter to send Grand Valley home after a 59-50 loss at Eaton High School.
"I am proud of these girls," said Grand Valley coach Mike Johnson, whose team finished its season with a 15-8 record. "We had a very good year. But I think great is in them, and I think great is coming."
Haley Johnson finished with a game-high 18 points and Ashlynn Speakman added 11 for Grand Valley, which trailed 39-33 heading into the fourth quarter. The Cardinals did cut it to four points on a bucket from Johnson with 1 minute, 48 seconds remaining in regulation, but Machebeuf hit 9-of-10 free throw attempts in the final stanza to keep its distance.
Grand Valley, however, finished 20 for 35 from the foul line. Lauren Paskett (eight points), Speakman and Johnson combined to go 14-of-17 from the foul line.
"To miss 15 free throws in a game like that just makes a huge difference," coach Johnson said. "That just killed us."
With the victory, Machebeuf moved into the tournament's title game against Eaton, which earned a 51-48 victory over fellow Western Slope League rival Roaring Fork in the earlier game played at Eaton High School.