Saturday's prep roundup: Colorado Springs Christian School girls knock off St. Mary's for Tri-Peaks title

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Tri-Peaks girls’ championship previews a potential state-title clash

The Tri-Peaks basketball championship matchup of the area’s two best 3A girls’ squads was no fluke. 
In fact, St. Mary’s coach Mike Burkett predicts Saturday’s game won’t be the last time they face Colorado Springs Christian School this postseason, as the predicted No. 1 and 2 seeds could face off again on the state’s biggest stage. 
And if the Tri-Peaks championship is any indication, it’s going to be one heck of a show. 
After falling to St. Mary’s by three points in the regular season, the Lions came back to claim a one-point win for the Tri-Peaks title, evening the season series with the Pirates with a 35-34 win. 
“We knew it was going to be a hard-fought battle, and we believed right from the beginning, before we played our first game against them, that we would meet them three times this year, now the next time we play them it will have the utmost importance,” Burkett said. “They’re a great team, they’re well coached and these games could have gone either way.”
With 40 seconds remaining in regulation and the game tied 33-33, St. Mary’s sophomore Josephine Howery looked to seal it with a mid-court steal, and drive to the hoop for two, but was fouled coming down. She made the first of two free-throw attempts to give the Pirates a one-point lead late.
“At that point, all I could think was, ‘run,’” CSCS’ Katie McGrath said. “I just knew I had to get back down the court.”
McGrath intercepted a pass with 22 seconds left on the clock and put up a left-handed shot which fell to the sound of screaming CSCS fans. Her shot lifted the Lions to victory, and handed St. Mary’s its first loss of the season.
“I think all of us were praying at that point. Lord please just let us win,” McGrath said. “We were just thinking about defense after that because they have three or four really good shooters, so we were just making sure they couldn’t get that last shot. At that point our offense did what we had to do, so it was up to our defense then.”
St. Mary’s called a pair of timeouts in the remaining seconds to draw up a  game-winning play, but the ultimate 3-point shot at the buzzer fell short. 
For CSCS, this season’s St. Mary’s rivalry feels oddly familiar, like the Lions’ clash with Lamar in 2017. CSCS fell to Lamar in the 3A state championship game a year ago. The Lions hope for a better outcome this year.
“They are a great team, and definitely like Lamar last year, we are going to see St. Mary’s again and again. I know we will,” McGrath said.

Class 5A

(7) Doherty 61, (39) Poudre 49
At Doherty: The Spartans put four players in double figures on the way to a second-round win over No. 39 Poudre. 
DeMarious Carey led Doherty with 18 points, followed by a 12-point performance by Alijah Bates. Kyrele Benford and Joe Golden scored 11 and 10 points, respectively. Golden also added 11 rebounds for the Spartans. 
No. 7 Doherty will play the winner of No. 10 Highlands Ranch vs. No. 23 Cherry Creek. 

(12) Liberty 57, (44) Monarch 52

At Liberty: The Lancers are on their way to the Class 5A Sweet 16 thanks to a five-point win in their tournament opener against Monarch.

The bye week didn’t slow down Liberty as the Lancers took off outscoring Monarch 13-8 in the first quarter, but the Coyotes kept it close from there.

Moz Doria led Liberty with a double-double scoring 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Sean Bohuslavsky had 15 for the Lancers, followed by his older brother Kyle who had 11.

Liberty will move on to face No. 5 George Washington on Wednesday in the third round.

(11) Rampart 64, (43) Far Northeast 40

Class 4A

(5) Longmont 76, (28) Cheyenne Mountain 46

At Longmont: Cheyenne Mountain’s run at a state title ended in the second round with a 30-point loss to No. 5 Longmont. The Indians beat No. 37 Thompson Valley in the first round and conclude their season with a 10-15 record.

Widefield 64, Skyview 51

Widefield built an early 11-point lead only to see it nearly dissolve by halftime. The Gladiators did a much better job the second time around.

(22) Mesa Ridge 67, (11) Glenwood Springs 48

At Glenwood Springs: Mesa Ridge used a fast start to upset No. 11 Glenwood Springs as the Grizzlies punch their ticket to the Sweet 16.

Mesa Ridge outscored the Demons 32- 24 in the first half, and concluded the dominant victory with a 33-24 edge in the final 16 minutes.

The Grizzlies will move on to face Pueblo West on Wednesday.

Lewis-Palmer 75, Sierra 62

He never yelled. Never screamed, never shouted, never so much as shot one of those steely coaches glares at one of his guys. Not once in 32 basketball minutes on Saturday night did Bill Benton even raise his voice.

(6) Pueblo West 72, (38) Discovery Canyon 63

At Pueblo West: Discovery Canyon remained consistent throughout its second-round matchup against Pueblo West, but unfortunately for the Thunder, so did the Cyclones. Pueblo West outscored Discovery Canyon by five points in each of the middle two frames to earn a comfortable lead, and ultimately a trip to the Sweet 16.

Discovery Canyon outscored the Cyclones 24-21 in the final frame but it was not enough to eliminate the deficit. The Thunder complete their season with a record of 11-15.

(15) Palmer Ridge 52, (18) Holy Family 48

Falcon 61, Fort Morgan 49

3A Tri-Peaks

BOYS

Championship

Vanguard 58, CSCS 43

At Pueblo Central: Dominique Clifford scored a team-high 24 points for Vanguard on the way to a 3A Tri-Peaks championship win over CSCS. Tyler Wheeler-Temple had 11 points for the Coursers, while Seth Fuqua scored 14, including a 4-for-4 performance at the line in the fourth quarter.

Caleb Stockton was the Lions’ lone double-figure scorer with 10 points. 

Third-place game

La Junta 50, Manitou Springs 48

At Pueblo Central: A pair of foul shots in the final 2.9 seconds of regulation gave La Junta the edge it needed to claim a third-place finish in the 3A Tri-Peaks tournament.

Class 2A District 8

BOYS

Championship

Ellicott 54, Evangelical Christian 41

At City Auditorium: Ellicott outscored Evangelical Christian 14-8 in the second quarter, creating a deficit that ECHS could not eliminate. 

Third-place game

Simla 62, Calhan 54, OT

At City Auditorium: No. 1 Calhan fell to No. 2 Simla in the District 8 consolation game after the Cubs forced overtime, outscoring the Bulldogs 12-9 in the fourth quarter. Simla then used that momentum to outscore Calhan 11-3 in the overtime period.

GIRLS

Championship

Simla 45, Ellicott 29

At City Auditorium: Simla shut Ellicott out in the first quarter on the way to a decisive District 8 championship win. 

After putting up no points in the first, however, the Eagles outscored Simla 16-8 in the second, but it wasn’t enough to close the gap. 

Third-place game

Calhan 50, Colorado Springs School 43

At City Auditorium: Colorado Springs School outscored Calhan 22-14 in the final eight minutes as the Kodiaks attempted to complete a comeback in the District 8 consolation game, but Calhan held strong to earn the win.

After trailing by two after the first quarter Calhan outscored CSS 28-11 in the middle two frames.

Brittany Fuchs led the Bulldogs with 17 points, followed by Sierra Knox with 12.