Hard-working Warriors ready for challenge in 5A Great 8

Stacey Kinnet of Central High School drives for a shot

Winning heals bumps and bruises.

The Central High School girls basketball team spent Thursday recovering from a physical 70-63 victory over Arapahoe in the Class 5A Sweet 16.

“You could tell how excited we were, but everyone was exhausted,” Central coach Todd Dixon said. “The Arapahoe coach told me after the game that he told his assistant he didn’t know what else to do because we were working harder than them.”

Central got a little beat up but put together one of its best games of the season, getting 31 points from Amy Kame and 17 from Haleigh Higgins.

Although Kame’s big numbers might have surprised the Front Range fans, it was nothing new for the Warriors’ leading scorer.

“Someone over here wrote it was an ‘otherworldly performance,’ but she has done that all year,” Dixon said. “The one difference was, she was scoring right when we needed her to.

Right when it seemed like we had to get a bucket, she would come through.”

The victory sets up the Kaye Garms Region final against No. 1 seeded Horizon at the Denver Coliseum at 2:30 this afternoon. The Hawks advanced to the game by defeating Fort Collins 69-49.

Horizon (24-1) lost to Legacy in a four-point game in the regular-season finale.

The Hawks are led by twins Meagan and Brenna Malcolm-Peck, who combined for 40 points in their regional semifinal win over Fort Collins.

“They are a lot like Arapahoe and they will throw up a lot of 3-pointers,” Dixon said. “So we are going to contest shots and box out a little deeper.”

The Warriors’ goal all season has been to make it to the Great 8, so everything from here on out is a bonus.

The winner of tonight’s game advances to the state Final Four at the Coors Events Center next Wednesday in Boulder against either Regis or Chaparral.

“We are as loose as you can get,” Dixon said. “While we made our goal, we don’t want to stop here. It is very rare that you have a chance to be this close to a state championship, so we are going to try and upset some people.”


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