Doherty starts fast before Grandview powers to 5A state girls basketball win

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Photo - Doherty's Mykiaa Minniss, left, reacts in the final seconds of Doherty's 88-46 loss to Grandview in their state quarterfinal game Friday, March 3, 2017 at the Denver Coliseum. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette
Doherty's Mykiaa Minniss, left, reacts in the final seconds of Doherty's 88-46 loss to Grandview in their state quarterfinal game Friday, March 3, 2017 at the Denver Coliseum. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette

DENVER - Doherty watched in disbelief as No. 2 Grandview scored five points in the final three seconds of the first quarter on Friday night.

Of course, the rate of scoring slowed down - even if it didn't feel like it as the No. 7 Spartans' riveting season ended with a tedious 88-46 loss in the 5A quarterfinals at the Denver Coliseum.

"We didn't play to our potential," said Mykiaa Minniss, who led Doherty with 13 points. "Grandview is the best team here, the best team in Colorado."

Doherty finished with a season low in points, while allowing the most points in a game since Patrick McKiernan took over the program in 2011.

The Wolves, meanwhile, scored more than 80 points for their third straight game in the postseason and for the eighth time this season.

Grandview improved to 25-1 and Doherty finished 24-2.

By the end, the only thing certain in defeat was the Spartans' togetherness. In the final seconds, they jumped in excitement as freshman Caylee DeWitt came off the bench and scored her first points of the playoffs.

"We're family," senior guard Kalani Poloa said. No matter what, we are going to stick together."

That was no easy task Friday.

After the Spartans ran out to a quick 13-7 lead, Grandview's defense asserted its will.

The Wolves went on a 39-7 run to close the first half with a 46-20 lead.

Jaiden Galloway was 5 of 6 from 3-point range in the half and finished with 29 points. Grandview, which had averaged just three 3-pointers a game coming in, finished with nine - six from Galloway.

"We had a strategy that we were going to protect the paint," Doherty coach Patrick McKiernan said. "When they started hitting those 3s we had no choice but to come out and they ate us up inside."

Galloway also helped the Wolves score five points in the last 3 seconds of the opening quarter.

It went like this: Galloway hit her third three to give Grandview its first lead of the game at 15-14. Then after a turnover, Leilah Vigil immediately banked in a gimme shot off an inbounds pass.

"That took a lot of wind out of our sails," McKiernan added. "It would have felt different if we had the lead after a quarter."

Michaela Onyenwere, the state's best player, took over in the second. The UCLA commit, who has won back-to-back Gatorade Player of the Year awards in Colorado, scored 10 quick points to push the lead to 32-18 by the midway point of the second.

She finished with 24.

"It's special," Onyenwere said. "There's just something special about this team and I'm happy to be a part of it."