Cards shooting for state title
PARACHUTE – The journey has taken almost a year to get this far. Now, Grand Valley’s quest to reach the Class 2A girls basketball state championship game is just two wins away.”There was not a camp or a game we played in that we weren’t talking about trying to become state champs,” said Cardinals coach Mike Johnson. “We put a lot of pressure on ourselves this year, but we’ve a had a great season so far.”The Cardinals hope to make the 2004-05 campaign a bit more successful by earning a spot in the 2A girls Final Four with a win over Jefferson Academy this afternoon at the Pueblo Events Center.
And the outlook for Grand Valley (19-4), seeded No. 4 among the eight remaining teams, has brightened with the return of Jamie Vance to team practices this week. Jefferson Academy is 18-5 on the year and is the tournament’s No. 5 seed.Vance, the Cardinals’ leading scorer and rebounder, missed the district championship game and saw limited time in the regional round due to a severe case of strep throat.How much court action the senior guard will have this afternoon and in the playoffs is a game-time decision, Johnson said.
Both teams earned their way to the state playoffs by winning regional titles last weekend. Grand Valley captured the school’s first girls regional crown by defeating Dolores, 52-32.Jefferson Academy, which plays in Denver’s Mile High League, nipped Lyons 45-41 in its regional tournament championship game.The Jaguars’ main scorer is forward Hannah McKelvin, who averages 12.5 points per game. The 5-foot, 8-inch senior can also shoot from the outside.
According to RockyPreps statistics, McKelvin has drained home 38 three-point field goals this season.She is complemented by freshman Hannah Jones, who averages 10.6 points and a team-high 7.7 rebounds per contest.The winner faces either No. 1 Limon (23-0) or No. 8 Nucla (13-9) in the semifinals, scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Friday. The loser moves to a consolation bracket contest at 1:15 p.m. Friday afternoon.The winner faces either No. 1 Limon (23-0) or No. 8 Nucla (13-9) in the semifinals, scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Friday. The loser moves to a consolation bracket contest at 1:15 p.m. Friday afternoon.
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