Grand Valley girls bow out of 3A tourney with 75-61 loss to Vanguard in quarterfinals |

Grand Valley girls bow out of 3A tourney with 75-61 loss to Vanguard in quarterfinals

The Vanguard School handed the Grand Valley High School girls basketball team a 75-61 Class 3A state quarterfinal loss Thursday in Denver to end the Cardinals bid for a state championship.

Playing at the University of Denver’s Hamilton Gym, the Lady Cardinals, seeded 13th in the original 32-team field, came up against the No. 5 Coursers. Grand Valley, which finished fourth in last year’s state tournament, dug an early hole but was never completely out of it.

Down 25-16 midway through the second quarter, the Cardinals managed to pull within four points, 34-30 with under two minutes to play in the half. But by the time the buzzer sounded, Vanguard had built the lead back to nine, 39-30.

The Coursers came out hot in the third quarter, building a 15-point lead, which Grand Valley could never overcome. The Cardinals pulled to within nine points behind key baskets from senior AbbyRose Parker and junior Jaycee Pittman, who would finish with 26 and 25 points, respectively.

Vanguard senior point guard Hailey Blanchard was too much to handle, pouring in 36 points, including five 3-pointers and connecting for seven of eight free-throw attempts down the stretch.

The Coursers, now at 20-5, move on to face No. 9 Ellicott in Friday’s semifinals.

Grand Valley concludes the season at 18-7. It was the final game in a Cardinals jersey for Parker as the lone senior on this year’s Grand Valley team.

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