No. 13 Rifle upsets No. 4 Air Academy
On the road for a Sweet Sixteen matchup with the No.4 Air Academy Cadets in Colorado Springs, the No. 13 Rifle Bears girls basketball team pulled off the upset win, topping the Cadets 42-35 in overtime Tuesday night to advance to the Great Eight of the 4A girls state playoff bracket, marking the 17th straight win for the Bears on the year.
Against Air Academy, Rifle trailed by five points midway through the third quarter before rallying for the 7-point win in the extra session.
Trailing 20-14 at the half and 30-22 after three quarters of play, Rifle found its footing in the fourth quarter as junior guards Katy Manuppella and Elly Walters buried three-pointers for the Bears, igniting the rally.
Sophomore forward Masi Smith also hit a big bucket in the fourth quarter off the bench for the Bears, while junior guard Karly Manuppella split a pair of free throws, allowing Rifle to force the tie, sending the game to overtime.
In the extra session, Rifle would outscore the Cadets 11-4 as junior forward Peyton Caldwell would come up big for the Bears, hitting two tough shots from the field, while Katy and Karly Manuppella hit two free throws each, and Walters sank all four free throws she attempted in the extra session.
In the win, Walters led the way with 16 points, while Katy Manuppella added eight points. Chipping in with six and four points, respectively, was Caldwell and Karly Manuppella.
With the win, Rifle now gets set for a Great Eight matchup on Friday against No. 5 Windsor at Windsor High School.
Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
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