Saturday's prep roundup: Pine Creek clinches state berth



5A Region 9

At Fruita Monument: Pine Creek already had to overcome adversity when its coach suddenly resigned in the middle of the season.

So, it's no surprise that the Eagles were ready for another trying test in regionals.

No. 16 Pine Creek (18-8) clinched a spot in the state tournament with a one-set tiebreaker win over No. 9 Fruita Monument (19-8).

The Eagles' five-set loss to Fruita Monument in pool play forced a tiebreaker. The Wildcats beat No. 28 Regis Jesuit (19-8) in the first round and Pine Creek prevailed 25-17 in second tiebreaker

It was another passing test for a team that had a new coaching staff take over in October.

"They've definitely fought through adversity," said Shelley Lockwood, who took over the program with co-coach Paul Waring on Oct. 10. "When we came in, we had one goal and that was to get these kids to state.

"We made changes to what they were running and they have conformed to those changed and battled to become a stronger team together. It says a lot about these kids. Kids are resilient. . It was sweet."

5A Region 12

At Ralston Valley: No. 13 Coronado (18-7) beat 12-seed Ralston Valley (15-10) and No. 25 Legacy (13-12) in four games to advance to the state tournament.

Mara Abernethy had 36 kills and Bethany Heitland had 67 digs in two matches for the Cougars, who won their fifth straight.

Jaelyn Hershberger had 28 kills and eight aces, and Delaney St. Pierre had 85 assists.

"I think the key to our success is that we've stayed together as a team," Coronado coach Stormie Wells said. "We had a lot of great performances from top to bottom from everybody on the roster."

4A Region 1

At Lewis-Palmer: No. 1 Lewis-Palmer (25-0) sailed into the state tournament with sweeps over 24-seed Durango (11-14) and No. 36 TCA (14-11).

Lydia Bartalo had 24 kills and eight aces in two matches for the Rangers, who have dropped just three sets all season.

Michaela Putnicki had 20 kills.

The Rangers will be the No. 1 seed in the 4A tournament next week.

3A Region 3

At Colorado Springs Christian: Bailey Scott had 21 kills, Christine Ajayi had another 20, and No. 3 CSCS (21-4) beat 22-seed Prospect Ridge (16-8) and No. 34 Brush (9-16) to advance to the state tournament.

The Lions had 24 aces in two sweeps and have now won eight straight.

"We didn't know what to expect . especially with RPI," CSCS coach Lori Currier said. "But the girls came out ready to play. We had one down set, but other than that, they looked pretty good."

4A Region 3

At Cheyenne Mountain: No. 3 Cheyenne Mountain (17-8) beat 22-seed Erie (15-10) and No. 34 Ponderosa (7-18) to move into the state tournament.

Ellie Gubser had 25 kills and Casey Ahrendsen had 22 more for the Indians, who snapped a two-game skid.

Cheyenne Mountain swept Ponderosa to begin the day, but needed five sets to get past Erie in the final match. The Indians are defending Class 4A state champions.

5A Region 8

At Rampart: No. 8 Rampart (16-9) was eliminated from the postseason after it fell to 17-seed Legend (17-8) in a five-set thriller.

The Rams rallied from a 2-0 deficit to force a game five against the Titans.

Legend, though, took the set 15-13 to move onto the state tournament.

"It's been the story of our season," Rampart coach Nikki Kinzer said. "We like to start off slow and they have the heart to finish strong. It didn't work out in our favor tonight."

Rampart swept No. 29 Grand Junction (11-14) to open region play.

5A Region 10

At Arapahoe: No. 27 Vista Ridge (15-10) lost both matches in its region and did not qualify for the state tournament.

No. 10 Arapahoe (20-5) moved on.

5A Region 11

At Loveland: No. 26 Liberty (13-12 delivered a strong punch but didn’t advance out of the region.

The Lancers defeated No. 11 Loveland (20-5) in five sets in the opening round. They then lost to Cherry Creek (21-4), the eventual region winner, in three games.

4A Region 2

At Eagle Valley: No. 35 Discovery Canyon (8-17) fell to No. 2 Eagle Valley (22-3) and 23-seed Evergreen (12-13) in the region.

The host Devils advanced to the state tournament.

4A Region 5

At Pueblo West: No. 20 Air Academy (10-14) fell to No. 5 Pueblo West (20-5) and 32-seed Green Mountain (17-8) in the region.

The Cyclones advanced to the state tournament.

4A Region 10

At Silver Creek: No. 15 Palmer Ridge (18-7) went 1-1 at its region and failed to advance to the state tournament.

No. 10 Silver Creek (22-3) ousted the Bears in three games to move on.

3A Region 2

At Valley: No. 23 Manitou Springs (12-12) dropped both matches in its region.

No. 2 Valley (20-5) advanced with two sweeps.

3A Region 10

At St. Mary’s: No. 10 St. Mary’s (20-5) finished 1-1 in the region and failed to advance to the state tournament.

No. 15 Delta (20-5) beat the Pirates in four games to move on.


Colorado Springs Christian 2, Vail Mountain 0

At Vail Mountain: Nothing could get by CSCS keeper Ross Norwood in the quarterfinals Saturday.

Little has of late.

The senior keeper made 18 saves and the No. 5 Lions (16-2) beat five-seed Vail Mountain (14-2) to advance to the 3A semifinals.

Tanner MacKay and Lookens Smith scored for the Lions.

"If they had put one in the first half or the second half it would have tilted the momentum their way," CSCS coach Jason Rollins said. "To keep a shutout was a huge factor for us."

This was Norwood's third straight shutout of the postseason. It also was the Gore Rangers' first scoreless game of the year.

Next, the Lions will face No. 1 Kent Denver in the semifinals at All-City Stadium on Wednesday.

"We've got nothing to lose," Rollins said. "All the loss would be on their end since they're the 1 seed. We're coming in with some momentum."


State meet

At Thornton: Cierra Babb won a state title in the individual apparatus finals by winning the balance beam (9.600) and District 20 team - sponsored by Rampart - took sixth at the state gymnastics tournament.

Babb's title was the first for the Rams.

The sophomore added a silver medal in the uneven bars (9.00) and Gabby Peltier took third in the uneven bars (8.900) for Rampart. Shea Kagarise was fifth on the bars (8.825).


2A state playoffs

Sterling 55, Manitou Springs 22

At Sterling: Banged-up Manitou Springs (6-4) fell to No. 4 Sterling (7-3) in the first round of the postseason.

The 13-seed Mustangs started the year 5-0, but were riddled with injury and lost four of their next five.

Bayfield 41, Florence 0

At Bayfield: No. 12 Florence (5-5) lost to No. 4 Bayfield in the first round of the postseason.

The Huskies returned to the playoffs after a one-year hiatus.

1A state playoffs

Meeker 43, Ellicott 6

At Meeker: Ellicott (5-5) couldn't hand No. 1 Meeker (10-0) its first loss of the season.

The Thunderhawks made the postseason for the third straight year.