Rifle Bears fall short against Golden
GOLDEN ” Megan McWilliams scored 20 points and Ciara Euler added 16 as Rifle made an unsuccessful upset bid against Golden in the second round of the Class 4A state girls basketball playoffs on Saturday.
The Bears poured in 23 fourth-quarter points but fell short against the No. 1 seed in the Tracy Hill Region, losing 75-69.
In the end, though, Rifle (13-11) saw far too much of all-state guard Cassie Lambrecht, who dropped in a game-high 33 points. What Lambrecht did best was work her way to the free-throw line, where she connected on 17 of 24 attempts.
“That was pretty critical,” Rifle coach Brad Skinner said. “We struggled with that Lambrecht kid. We had to foul her a lot, especially in the fourth quarter.”
The Bears led 18-16 after a quarter before host Golden turned around and won the second quarter 19-9. Rifle actually outscored the Demons in every other frame.
“They just got rolling,” Skinner said. “They had one girl, the Neal girl (Samantha Neal) hit three 3s on us. That kind of hurt us a little. Obviously, they made a little swing on us there.”
Samantha Neal and Katja Jacobs each added 15 points for Golden, which improved to 20-4 and will play Northridge in the Sweet 16.
For Rifle, McWilliams, Alissa Skinner and Chelsea Webb all played their final high school games. Skinner admitted it was pretty tough to send them off.
“That’s kind of tough,” he said. “These guys have been playing together for a long time. I’ve been coaching them at the varsity level the last two years, but I’ve been with these guys for a long time, since their elementary days, watching them play. It’s pretty tough. It was pretty emotional for me in the locker room.”
With his team out of the playoffs, Skinner will switch his coaching hat for a cheerleading one. He hopes to see other Western Slope teams ” in every class ” make playoff runs.
“I’ll definitely be pulling for our other Western Slope teams,” he said. “I have a good connection with Glenwood, having worked with Katrina and Sharaya (Selsor). I’d love to see Moffat (County) and Glenwood meet in the finals.”
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The Coal Ridge High boys suffered their first 3A Western Slope League loss of the year Thursday night on the road at Gunnison, falling to the defending league champion Cowboys 65-45.