Girls Varsity Basketball · Girls basketball: Tigers survive scare from Central (G.J.)

BROOMFIELD — Every team wants to beat the No. 1 team in the bracket and place that feather in their cap.

And if you are the No. 1 overall seed, like the Holy Family girls are in the Class 4A state tournament, you have to expect you are going to get everything and more from any team that comes in you gym.

Proof of that came in the form of Central (G.J.) on Thursday night. The Warriors, whose fans you could hear saying that they were playing with house money, gave the Tigers everything they wanted and more in their Great 8 game. But the Tigers were just too good down the stretch and advanced to the Final Four for the third consecutive season with a 61-53 victory.

“It definitely puts a target on your back,” said senior guard Alyssa Wells about the dangers of being the No. 1 overall seed. “They want to take us down and they want to be the big story. We just have to step it up and show that we deserve to be the No. 1 seed, but it comes with a lot of pressure for sure.”

Central (G.J.)’s marvelous run through the regular season and state tournament ends with a 13-4 overall record.

The Warriors top notch guard tandem of Mya Murdock and Leah Redding gave Holy Family fits early on with their speed and ability to hit from long range. And they carried it into the third quarter, where the first basket there capped off a 16-3 run and gave them a 27-26 lead.

“Those guards were really quick and we just couldn’t get out on the shooters early,” said Wells, who finished with a team-high 20 points. “Our shots weren’t falling either. We had open looks, but they just weren’t dropping.”

The Tigers got creative offensively late in the third and creative even better looks inside the paint, getting easy lay-ups from Tyler Whitlock (10 points) , Cecelia Aanerud and Maggie Dooley.

But the Warriors just sort of hung around and had it to a one possession game early in the fourth. But a 9-1 run by the Tigers before the mandatory administrative timeout after four minutes was just what the doctor ordered. It gave coach Ron Rossi and his team the separation they needed at 54-43. The Warriors closed to 59-53 with 15 second left, but couldn’t get any closer.

“We are definitely very happy, but this game was close,” Well said. “”We have to come out with our ‘A’ game on Thursday. And I think everybody is going to be a little nervous then and if you aren’t something is wrong with you.

“Everybody is going to have the butterflies, but you just have to shake them off, put your shoes on and play basketball.”

(1) HOLY FAMILY 61, (9) CENTRAL (G.J.) 53

At Holy Family

Central (G.J.) (13-4)   6   19   14   14   —   53

Holy Family (13-1)   16   10   18   17   —   61

Central (G.J.) — A. Wagner 0 2-4 2, Murdock 2 6-6 12, Spencer 0 0-0 0, Redding 7 5-10 21, Rascon 0 0-2 0, B. Wagner 2 0-0 5, Ritterbush 1 0-0 2, Bryant 0 0-0 0, Manzanarez 4 2-5 11. Totals 16  15-27 53

Holy Family — Whitlock 5 0-0 10, Sanders 0 2-3 2, Hren 4 1-2 10, Wells 5 7-10 20, Aanerud 3 1-4 7, Bertsch 1 0-0 2, Dooley 2 1-2 5, Snashall 1 0-0 3, Quintana 0 0-0 0, Contreraz 0 2-4 2. Totals 21 14-25 61.

3-pt. goals — Central (G.J.) (6): Murdock 2, Redding 2, B. Wagner, Manzanarez; Holy Family (5): Wells 3, Hren, Snashall. Fouls — Central (G.J.) 15; Holy Family 18.