Rifle buzzed by Hornets

Staff Report

PUEBLO – Free throws and Kaylon Miller proved to be a deadly combination for the Rifle girls basketball team Tuesday night.

Pueblo County hit on 19-of-23 attempts from the free throw line and Miller, a 5-foot, 7 junior, scored 20 points to lead the No. 8 Hornets to a 50-43 win in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs.

Rifle, the 25th seed in the 32-team tournament, saw its dreams of advancing to Friday’s second-round slowly ebb away from them in the second half.

Early in the contest, the Bears played evenly against the Hornets.

Rifle was only down by four points at the end of the first quarter and was still in comeback range at halftime.

The Bears were down 25-19 at intermission, but failed to make a dent in the Hornets’ sizeable lead in the third quarter.

The Bears made a strong effort, behind the balanced scoring of senior forward Ashley Gavito, along with juniors Julie McWilliams and Krista Wagstrom.

The three players combined for 34 of Rifle’s points, but only managed to cut the Hornets’ lead to seven at the final buzzer.

Gavito led Rifle with 14 points. McWilliams and Wagstrom scored 10 points each.

Pueblo County had two other players, Ashley Vidlok and Anna Simpson finish in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

In other playoff games involving District 7 teams, No. 5 Denver Mullen defeated No. 28 Montezuma-Cortez, 69-50.

Pueblo County will host the winner of the Longmont-Moffat County game in the second round on Friday. Scores from that game and the Montrose-Canon City contest were unavailable at press time.

Rifle concluded the year with a 14-9 record.

Pueblo County 50, Rifle 43

Rifle 10 9 8 16-43

Pueblo County 14 11 10 15-50

RIFLE – Kristen Neffendorf 0 1-2 1, Haley Hubbell 1 0-0 2, Nicole Erpestad 3 0-0 6, Julie McWilliams 4 0-0 10, Ashley Gavito 7 0-1 14, Krista Wagstrom 4 2-3 10. Totals – 19 3-5 43.

PUEBLO COUNTY – Anna Simpson 1 8-8 10, Danielle Villegas 1 4-4 7, Ashley Vidlok 5 1-3 11, Amanda Martinez 1 0-0 2, Kaylon Miller 7 6-8 20. Totals – 15 19-23 50.

3-Pointers – McWilliams 2, Villegas. Fouled Out – Neffendorf. Technicals – None.

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