Wednesday's Gazette Preps roundup: Mesa Ridge, Air Academy and Palmer Ridge among winners in girls' basketball

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Mesa Ridge 68, Widefield 41
At Widefield: Mesa Ridge coach Jeff Beatty feels like he acquired a big-time talent after the holiday break.
Serin Dunne has been with the team all year. Just not like this.

Dunne scored 18 points, Chloe Welch added 17 and the Grizzlies (15-2, 11-0 4A Colorado Springs Metro League) beat Widefield (13-4, 8-2) for their 13th straight win.

Beatty considers Dunne something of a new player in January. After struggling to shoot the ball in the first month of the season, the sophomore has scored in the double digits in nine of her last 11.

“Before Christmas she was not locked in yet but after the break she came back shooting the ball really well,” Beatty said. “It’s almost like getting a new player after Christmas to be honest with you.”

The Grizzlies are on pace to win their third straight league title and could make another deep run in the postseason.

“Offensively we’re about the best we’ve ever been, but defensively we have a ways to go,” said Beatty, whose team won the state title in 2014. “In the playoffs teams find out a way to keep you from scoring as many points as you do so we need to concentrate heavy on defense to go deep in the playoffs.”

Air Academy 46, Sand Creek 43
At Sand Creek: Katlyn Blacksten had 17 points and Air Academy (17-1, 9-0) regrouped in the final quarter to beat Sand Creek (9-9, 4-5).

Kylee Blacksten added six points and nine rebounds, including five on the offensive end. The Kadets led 26-16 at half but trailed 34-32 headed into the fourth.

Air Academy has won 14 straight.

Palmer Ridge 50, Falcon 30
At Falcon: Sydney Day had 18 points and 11 rebounds for her second double-double of the season, Dulaney Koogle had 14 points with four 3s, and Palmer Ridge (11-7, 4-5 4A PPAC) beat Falcon (6-12, 2-7).

Ena Keco led the Falcons with 11 points.

Harrison 60, Elizabeth 56
At Harrison: Katiah Thomas had 18 points, Destiny Trujillo had 14 and Harrison (6-11, 4-6 4A CSML) used a big finish to get past Elizabeth (4-14, 3-8).

Diamond Moore added 10 points and Amyah Moore had eight for the Panthers, who outscored the Cardinals 21-13 in the final quarter to notch their third win in five games.

TCA 38, Canon City 36

At TCA: Raegan Bervig scored 16, Kaitlin Walters added 10, including two free throws in the final moments to lift TCA (13-5, 7-4 4A CSML) past Canon City (7-10, 5-5).

Ellie Till led Canon City with 14 points.

The Tigers cut an 11-point halftime deficit to one heading into the fourth before the late dramatics. TCA, though, held on to improve to 6-3 at home this season.

Canon City has lost three of four.

Lewis-Palmer 48, Vista Ridge 34

At Vista Ridge: Kaity Hovasse scored 15 and Sami Tucker had 12 as Lewis-Palmer (14-4, 8-1 4A PPAC) beat Vista Ridge (7-11, 2-7).

The Rangers have won three straight and improved to 5-2 on the road.

TCA 67, Canon City 52
At Canon City: Jared Belcher is in the school record books.

On a night TCA (11-6, 8-3 4A CSML) beat Canon City (3-14, 3-7), the senior guard scored 39 to give him the most points by a boys’ player in school history, per TCA coach Kevin Wenger.

Belcher surpassed Erik Cilek, who held the record with 36 points in an 82-63 win over Rye on Dec. 3, 2016.
The Titans have won four straight and sit in third in the league standings behind Mesa Ridge and Widefield. They ended Mesa Ridge’s 11-game winning streak Monday.

James Irwin 73, Florence 28
At James Irwin: Matthew Skalicky had a career-best 34 points as James Irwin (4-11, 3-5 3A Tri-Peaks) rolled past Florence (1-14, 0-8).

Skalicky was 10 of 19 from beyond the perimeter and Nathaniel Plaisted added 23 points on 9-of-17 shooting for the Jaguars, who led 36-11 at half.

James Irwin has won two straight since ending a five-game slide.

Lewis-Palmer 56, Vista Ridge 26
At Lewis-Palmer: The Rangers (16-2, 8-1 4A PPAC) appear back on track after losing consecutive games last week. Vista Ridge (9-9, 4-5) fell to .500.

Lewis-Palmer won by a wide margin for the third straight game. It held Vista Ridge to 26 percent shooting from the field.

Tristan Pratt led the Wolves with seven points.

Sierra 78, Woodland Park 64

At Woodland Park: Sierra (8-10, 5-6 4A CSML) beat Woodland Park (9-9, 4-7)  and has won two straight since a four-game slide.

Skye Ciccarelli scored 30 points to lead the Panthers, who have dropped two in a row.

Coronado 48, Rampart 21
At Rampart: KJ Kearns pinned William Plummer in 2 minutes and 37 seconds, helping lead Coronado past Rampart.

Kearns finished second in 138s at last year’s state meet for the Cougars, who are looking to reload after departure of a talented senior class from last season’s team that took sixth in 5A.

Coronado, which had three pins, also won the tightest match of the night as 106-pounder Mason Micci beat Andrew Peltier 4-2 in sudden victory.

Ryan Moore had the lone pin for Rampart in 152s.

Mesa Ridge 37, Canon City 34

At Mesa Ridge: Elijah Valdez had a big win at 152 pounds in the final bout of the night, claiming a 6-0 decision over Canon City's Bailey McBride to give the Grizzlies a three-point edge over the Tigers.

Adam Tichenor (160), Niko Suragdeen (182), Jared Volcic (195), Dom Fini (220), Michael True (285), Devin Lueck (120), and Malachi Chambers (138) also had wins for Mesa Ridge.

Doherty 64, Palmer 15
At Doherty: Keaton Adams, Logan Maslanik and Jack Mann each had pins in the first round as Doherty used five pins to beat Palmer.

The Terrors had two pins, and Dylan Owens-Hailey beat Doherty’s John Smits in a high-scoring thriller, 25-20 in 132s.

Pine Creek 60, Liberty 6
At Pine Creek: It took Mauricio Calonje just 17 seconds to pin Connor Dant in the 132-pound match as Pine Creek handled Liberty.

The Eagles totaled six pins and benefited from four forfeits. The match also featured three double forfeits.
Naliah Rosales pinned Riley Wharton in 49 seconds for the Lancers’ only points of the match.