|State Bound: Lady Dragons are regional champs|
|Written by Darci Tomky|
This was the girls’ motto as the HHS Lady Dragons entered the regional round of state basketball playoffs March 4-5.
“And ready they were,” said coach Arlan Scholl after two big wins last weekend secured Holyoke a spot at the state tournament.
“What a display of hard-nosed defense and all-around play,” said Scholl. “Going in as the fourth seed out of four teams is always an uphill battle, but it didn’t seem to phase this group of girls.”
Facing Lyons Friday and Meeker Saturday, the team came out ready for battle and earned themselves a berth in the final eight for the state tourney in Pueblo.
HHS girls’ basketball team is pictured is with their regional plaque, from left, front row, Heather
“We have fought through some injuries and adversity this year, but the old adage that adversity reveals character surely applies with this group of girls,” added Scholl. “Their strong character shined through this past weekend.”
It won’t take much scouting for the first round of state action as the Dragons will play Sedgwick County for the fourth time this season, this time in Pueblo.
Scholl said the team looks forward to competing in the tournament and will continue to work hard and plan to win the championship.
The Lady Dragons and their coaches again thank their great Holyoke fans. “The tunnels coming out of the locker room were special, and we will always remember that great fan support,” said Scholl.
“What great cheering and boisterous support for our team. You are truly the ‘sixth man’ for our team. Thank you, thank you, thank you! See you all in Pueblo.”
Heather Duester goes up for two points against Lyons Friday, March 4.
Holyoke 47, Lyons 34
Dragon fans were on the edge of their seats as the No. 4-seeded Dragons defeated the No. 1-seeded Lions 47-34 in the make-it-or-break-it first round of regionals at Standley Lake High School in Westminster Friday, March 4.
Even though Holyoke started the game with tough defense and a full-court press, Lyons led 15-11 at the end of the first quarter.
A three-point basket by junior Laura Gerk in the second period gave the Dragons a 16-15 lead; however, scores at halftime left Holyoke down 18-23.
Still trailing Lyons in the third quarter, two key free throws by Gerk with a minute left brought HHS within two points of the lead.
After a two-point shot by senior Mallory Bennett and a three-pointer by Gerk tied the score and then pulled Holyoke ahead in the fourth quarter, game momentum shifted in the Dragons’ favor.
Fourth quarter was huge for HHS as they outscored Lyons 17-2 for the 13-point victory at the final buzzer.
In team stats, Gerk led scoring with 19 points including four three-pointers, two two-pointers and three for five from the line. Bennett also landed in the double digits with six two-pointers for 12 points.
Bennett grabbed 10 rebounds and one steal in Friday’s game against Lyons.
Laura Gerk puts in a layup during Holyoke’s win against Meeker in the
Holyoke 52, Meeker 42
Lady Dragons again defied the odds Saturday afternoon when they beat Meeker 52-42 for regional champion honors.
Starting off strong with a big first half, Holyoke led 8-2 after first-quarter action and 21-13 at halftime.
Meeker was on target in the third period, outscoring the Dragons 19-14. Holyoke fell behind 29-32, but persevered to again take a three-point lead going into the final quarter.
Not willing to give up so easily, HHS got back into their groove in the fourth period, pulling ahead for the 10-point win.
Free throws were a deciding factor in Saturday’s game as Holyoke made 12 out of 21 while Meeker shot two for two from the line.
Senior Marci Vasa led Dragon scoring with 19 points including six two-pointers, one three-pointer and four for five in free throws. Heather Duester and Bennett each added 10 points.
Bennett brought down 13 rebounds against Meeker, and Vasa had five assists. In steals, Gerk had five and Duester four while Duester and Vasa each had one block on Saturday.
Holyoke will face Sedgwick County in the first round of the 2011 state tournament Thursday, March 10 at 10:15 a.m. at the CSU-Pueblo Massari Arena.