Estes Park next for Basalt |

Estes Park next for Basalt

Phil Sandoval

According to the Class 3A girls state tournament bracket, the road to the title game appears as if it will go through the Patriot League.

Three of the eight remaining playoff teams come from that league.

And Basalt hopes to knock off Estes Park of the Patriot League on Thursday when the 3A quarterfinals start at the Air Force Academy campus in Colorado Springs.

The 21-3 Longhorns advanced to the great eight by defeating Denver Christian and Kent Denver in Region 4 playoff games last weekend at Basalt’s “Big House.”

Thursday’s game is scheduled for a 10:15 a.m. tipoff.

Estes Park, last year’s 3A girls runner-up, returned to the big show on a 48-32 win against Eagle Valley and a 59-38 thrashing of Buena Vista in the Region 3 tournament.

The wins raised the fourth-seeded Bobcats’ overall record to 22-3. With nine returning lettermen from last year’s team, Estes Park appears to be a tough challenge for Basalt, who entered the state tournament as the No. 5 seed.

The Bobcats are led by 5-foot-11 senior center Ruth Anne Koehler and 5-7 sophomore guard Dawn Shockley.

According to statistics from the Rocky Mountain News, Koehler averages 14.5 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. Shockley is a shade below her teammate offensively, with a 14.4 per-game scoring average.

Basalt counters with seniors Autumn Caughern (18.9 points, 6.8 rebounds per game) and Miriah Mulcahy (15.5) along with junior post Lauren Redfern, who posted seasonal averages of 16.1 points and 6.5 rebounds.

The winner of Thursday’s game plays the winner of the 5:30 p.m. contest between No. 1 Denver Machebeuf (23-1)/No. 8 Platte Valley (21-3) Friday. Losers from both games play in a fifth-place semifinal contest, also on Friday.

The bottom of the quarterfinal bracket consists of No. 2 Englewood St. Mary’s (23-2) against No. 7 Roosevelt from Johnstown and No. 11 Ignacio facing No. 14 La Junta.

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