Palisade girls fall short in first round of 4A playoffs

Palisade High School’s girls basketball team had a two-point lead on Denver South on Tuesday in the Class 4A state playoffs, but the Rebels pulled away in the second half for a 53-42 victory.

Denver South (11-11) advanced to play No. 2 seed Mesa Ridge (23-0) on Friday by outscoring Palisade 17-9 in the third quarter.

Palisade (10-14) was eliminated from the tournament.

Kendra Martin, a 5-foot-8 power forward, scored 26 points for the Rebels and Naudia Sweets added 15.

Palisade coach Danielle Bagwell said Martin was a tough matchup for the Bulldogs with her inside-outside game. Martin hit a pair of 3-pointers when the Bulldogs got her out of the paint, where she scored 18 of her points.

Jenna Brown led Palisade with 12 points and Cruz Maestas added nine. All but one varsity player returns for the Bulldogs next season.

Rifle 62, Thomas Jefferson 33: The Bears used a big second-quarter run at home to rally from a four-point deficit and win their first-round Class 4A state tournament game going away.

Chante Church scored a game-high 27 points and Joey Kuheim added 24 to pace the Bears (16-7), who outrebounded the Spartans (10-12) 48-21. Church had 11 rebounds, Kuheim had 10 of her 13 boards in the second half and Kimmie Rausin had nine of her 11 rebounds in the first half.

Cleora Koepke and Kelly Cordes each had 11 to pace Thomas Jefferson, which led 17-13 early in the second quarter before the Bears closed the first half with a 17-5 run.

Class 5A: Fruita Monument’s girls found out their second-round opponent, Loveland (18-6), which defeated Rangeview 74-27. Friday’s game time at Fruita will be determined today.

Basalt 55, Aspen 41: In a Class 3A pigtail game, the Longhorns’ Emmalee Erickson scored 23 points and Lindsay Corzine added 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Basalt moves into the main draw of the tournament, playing at top-seeded Moffat County on Thursday.


In the Class 2A District 5 quarterfinals, Paonia handled Hotchkiss 83-47, Meeker beat Soroco 64-53 and West Grand downed Rangely 60-47.

The Eagles play Hayden at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Paonia. Hayden advanced when Vail Mountain forfeited its quarterfinal game.

Meeker plays West Grand in the other semifinal at 4:30 p.m. at Paonia.


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