The Platte Canyon Lady Huskies basketball team was ecstatic to host a Class 2A, District 4 playoff game Monday night against the Lady Sentinels of Golden View Academy.
And it showed.
En route to a 50-14 victory, the Huskies (now with 10 wins and 11 losses on the season) dominated the visitors in every facet of the game. Defensively, PCHS held the Sentinels scoreless from midway through the first quarter to almost midway through the third.
Five of the six active players on the PCHS roster scored – but sharp-shooting sophomore Chyann Kelly’s 25-point output alone provided more than enough offense to secure the win.
Monday’s victory set up an intriguing Feb. 26 matchup, as the Huskies advanced to meet Denver Christian in the second round of the District 4 postseason tourney. Results from that contest were not available by press time.
With just more than five minutes remaining in the first quarter, and Platte Canyon leading 6-3, both teams struggled to find an offensive rhythm.
Two minutes later, with the score still stuck at 6-3, Kelly sliced to the rim for a quick layup that seemed to open the floodgates for the Huskies.
A three-pointer from the very top of the key by PCHS junior Lottie Borowski, followed by another layup and yet another three-pointer by Kelly, verified that the rout was on.
By the time the first quarter ended, courtesy of baskets from Lady Huskies Amy Bezzant, Hannah Grover and Aspen Riesberg, the lead exploded to 20-3.
The second quarter featured more of the same. Already up 28-3, and in the midst of holding the Sentinels scoreless throughout the second quarter, Kelly closed the half by launching a long three-pointer. The shot carried a perfect shooter’s backspin as it fell softly through the hoop to the delight of the hometown crowd.
“When the girls play loose like they did tonight, they can really put it together sometimes,” said PCHS head coach Reesha Curtis.
That relaxed, efficient play on the offensive end of the floor was coupled with a tenacious effort on the defensive end. It was not until the 5:45 mark of the third quarter, with the home team up 34-3, that Golden View managed its first bucket since about midway through the first quarter.
Notably, down by 31 points, the Sentinels played an extremely tough brand of defense throughout much of the third quarter. The surge of frustrated energy was evident, as the physical contact picked up and the PCHS scoring onslaught slowed to a crawl.
Simply outmatched athletically, however, the Sentinels could not sustain their newfound momentum as the second half wore on. Despite the inevitable blowout, fans from both sides applauded the Golden View effort as they fought valiantly to save face under hopelessly difficult circumstances.
Bezzant was the second-leading scorer with nine points. Bezzant also hauled in more than her fair share of rebounds, and did nothing to hurt her season average of about seven boards per contest.
“Amy is really coming into her own and figuring out that post position,” Curtis said.
Riesberg scored six points, but her greatest contribution was on the defensive end. At one point in the third quarter, Riesberg was seemingly stealing the ball on virtually every Golden View possession.
Cheyanne Oramas contributed some scrappy defense for the Huskies, while sophomore teammate Grover exhibited a growing arsenal of offensive moves and shooting prowess.
“I’ll tell you this about Hannah,” said Curtis. “That girl is one of the hardest workers you have ever seen. She is always on task, and she is absolutely tireless in her efforts.”
Despite the wave of momentum created by the lopsided victory over Golden View, Curtis insists that her girls will have to be even more focused to knock off Denver Christian.
“We will have to execute in every part of the game to beat them … but if we do that, then we have a great chance,” Curtis said.