Glenwood and Rifle head to front range for state tourney
Post Independent Staff
The path of the girls Class 4A state basketball playoffs have steered Glenwood Springs and Rifle to the Front Range for this weekend’s opening rounds of play.
Glenwood, runners-up of the Western Slope League, have to keep an eye on two possible opponents for Saturday’s second-round matchup at Colorado Springs Harrison High School.
The Demons, who earned a bye for tonight’s sub-regional opening round, face either Longmont or Falcon Saturday afternoon in the single-elimination tournament.
Of the two teams, Longmont, who plays in the Northern League, has a better record. The Trojans finished the regular season at 16-7 (11-4 in league), but have been inconsistent of late, having lost four of their last six games.
Lindsey Moller is Longmont’s top scorer. The Trojans senior, according to Rocky Preps statistics, is No. 2 in 4A, averaging 18.6 points a game.
And the 5-foot, 10-inch guard is especially dangerous from the 3-point line. To date, Moller has connected on 23 of 30 attempts from long distance.
Forward Sophia Johnson and guard Shea Rasmussen are Longmont’s other key offensive threats ” each averaging nine points a contest.
Falcon, out of the Colorado Springs Metro League, has found its game after a slow start. The Falcons, were on a four-game winning streak prior to their regular-season finale with Harrison, where they suffered a 37-23 loss.
Offensively, they feature a balanced attack paced with Sadie Maughan (10.9 per game average) Alley Goniea (8.5) and Angela Wilmore (7.9).
The winner from that game faces a playoff-tested Demons team, who’s won seven of its last eight games with plenty of scoring punch.
Four Glenwood starters average 10 or more points a game. Junior post Sam Ciani is among the 4A state leaders in two categories ” averaging 14 points and eight rebounds per contest.
Senior point guard Ashley Jensen leads all Colorado girls, regardless of classification, in assists with a 7.2 per game average while scoring 10.7 points.
Sophomore Sharaya Selsor and Emily Hauptli, come in at 11.9 and 11.5 points per game, respectively.
The other side of the bracket has Niwot (13-10) and Evergreen (15-8) squaring off tonight for a second-round encounter with 22-1 Harrison Saturday.
The winner of Saturday’s sub-regional semifinals move on to next week’s Tracy Hill regional final four at Mesa State College in Grand Junction.
Rifle opens sub-regional play this afternoon with Mesa Ridge at Mullen High in Denver, where both teams are hoping to rebound from regular-season finale losses.
The 11-12 Grizzlies look to junior guard Colleen Sullivan for leadership and offense. She leads Mesa Ridge with a 13.2 per-game scoring average. Post Charlanda Whitfield scores a shade under nine points a contest. Wing Lindsey Nickell averages six points per game.
Friday’s winner faces host Mullen, the No. 1 seed of the 16-team Lou Piel region Saturday afternoon. The 22-2 Mustangs, winners Class 5A Centennial League title have won 17 straight, including wins over Edison High of Huntington Beach, Calif., and Sinagua, Ariz., at the Nike Tournament of Champions in Phoenix.
Mullen’s top players are forwards Meg Hurley and Kathleen Majewski along with Jenna Erdie. Hurley averages 11.2 points a game. Majewski, also averages double figures at 10.9. Erdie is good for nine points per contest.
The rest of the field has Sterling (21-2) facing Denver South (7-16) on Friday. The winner plays Pueblo West (17-6) in Saturday’s other semifinal. Semifinal winners advance to next week’s Sweet 16 at Metro State.
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The Rifle and Glenwood Springs girls tangled on Tuesday night at Glenwood’s Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium in a 4A Western Slope League contest that carried major implications in the conference standings.