TCA upends rival Discovery Canyon to advance in girls' basketball

0
Photo - TCA Guard McClain Walker (3) charges the lane against Thunder Forward Ashten Prechtel (50) in the Titans 37-33 victory over Discovery Canyon Friday February 24, 2014.  Photo by Jeff Kearney.
TCA Guard McClain Walker (3) charges the lane against Thunder Forward Ashten Prechtel (50) in the Titans 37-33 victory over Discovery Canyon Friday February 24, 2014. Photo by Jeff Kearney.

Something had to give on the north side of Colorado Springs on Friday night.

The No. 12 Discovery Canyon girls' basketball team entered the second-round playoff on a six-game winning streak. No. 21 TCA entered on an 11-game win streak.

The Classical Academy hung on to beat rival Discovery Canyon 37-33 and move on to the round of 16 in the Class 4A state playoffs.

While the two teams play in different conferences (TCA in the 4A Colorado Springs Metro League and Discovery Canyon in the 5A/4A Pikes Peak Athletic Conference) the schools are geographically less than three miles apart.

It's a rivalry, and Friday felt like it. It was the biggest crowd of the season for TCA (20-5) and first-year coach Frank Haist.

"I got pretty excited when I heard we had the possibility of playing (Discovery Canyon)," he said.

The two teams didn't disappoint. After a solid first half from TCA, which saw the Titans take a 20-13 lead into the break, Discovery Canyon (16-8) found some momentum and drew within one point, 27-26, at the end of the third quarter.

A 3-pointer from sophomore Ashten Prechtel, who led the Thunder with 13 points, gave Discovery Canyon its first lead at 31-30 with 3:35 left in the game.

But TCA scored six of the next eight points down the stretch to capture the victory.

Raegan Bervig was a spark plug for the Titans from the start, and the junior finished with a game-high 15 points.

"Once we won our last game (against Skyview in the first round) I already had butterflies for this game," Bervig said. "I knew this was going to be crazy."

With the schools so close, many of the players, students and fans know each other well.

"With other playoff games, the people in the stands are strangers," Bervig said. "Here, we knew the kids from the other school."

TCA started the game hot, scoring the first 10 points. Six of those belonged to Bervig, who hit two 3-pointers in that opening stretch.

"I usually don't like to start a game shooting 3s," Bervig said. "But I put those two up, and those can really get us fired up and lead to more confidence."

Haist highlighted his team's recovery from losing the lead for the first time in the fourth quarter as something the Titans can utilize in the next round.

"I was impressed with the team's resilience," Haist said. "That was a true playoff game. The girls really played well under pressure."

TCA and its 12-game win streak will again take the show on the road - a bit farther this time - as the Titans face No. 5 Windsor on Tuesday.