Cheyenne Mountain girls' basketball comes from behind to win PPAC opener over Palmer Ridge

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Photo - Cheyenne Mountain Sophomore, Katelynn Ralston (13), takes the lane for a layup against the Bears defense in the Indians 36-34 victory over Palmer Ridge Thursday December 21, 2017. Photo by Jeff Kearney.
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The Palmer Ridge Bears (34) host the Cheyenne Mountain Indians (36) in a Varsity conference girls basketball game Thursday December 21, 2017. Photo by Jeff Kearney.
Cheyenne Mountain Sophomore, Katelynn Ralston (13), takes the lane for a layup against the Bears defense in the Indians 36-34 victory over Palmer Ridge Thursday December 21, 2017. Photo by Jeff Kearney. . The Palmer Ridge Bears (34) host the Cheyenne Mountain Indians (36) in a Varsity conference girls basketball game Thursday December 21, 2017. Photo by Jeff Kearney.

MONUMENT — The Cheyenne Mountain girls’ basketball team trailed for much of its game against Palmer Ridge on Thursday night in the Pikes Peak Athletics Conference opener.

But the Indians didn’t let that bother them.

“We didn’t even look at the score,” forward Katelynn Ralston said.

The sophomore was an unstoppable force in the third quarter, scoring 12 of her 14 points in that period, as the Indians erased a halftime deficit for a 36-34 win on the road. In a span of about 2 minutes, Ralston racked up a trio of layups — including two from steals — and a 3-pointer to lift her team to just its third win of the season.

“She got on a roll and (we) let her take over,” Indians coach Ben Sherman said.

It was a tight game all the way, highlighted by nine lead changes.

Palmer Ridge (7-3, 0-1 PPAC) was down 36-32 with about three seconds left. Eden Bosner, who led the Bears with 14 points, was fouled on a 3-pointer. She made the first two free throws but intentionally missed the third attempt.

It wasn’t enough time for Palmer Ridge to get the rebound and a shot off.

Sophomore Selena Vargas added 12 points for the Indians (3-6, 1-0 PPAC), who are under a new system with first-year coach Sherman. Cheyenne Mountain is coming off an 11-14 season and a second-round state tournament exit.

“Getting this win before (winter break) gives us that confidence and the reassurance that we’re doing the right thing,” Sherman said.

Cheyenne Mountain was down 17-14 at halftime, but that all changed with a 7-2 run to open the third quarter and a stellar solo performance by Ralston, an all-state pitcher who recently transitioned from the softball season.  The Indians kept their defense up, limiting the Bears to single-digit scoring in each of the final two quarters.

Cheyenne Mountain was up 31-24 heading into the fourth.

“These girls never quit,” Sherman said. “No matter how far down we are, we always have a chance with this team.”

Sophomore Dulaney Koogle added 13 points for Palmer Ridge, which had won three of its previous four games. The Bears went ahead 11-10 in the first quarter, thanks to Bonser scoring her team’s final three field goals in that period.

But the Indians never let the early deficit affect their play.

“We’re a driven team,” Ralston said. “We don’t get down on ourselves.”