Photo by Tamie Meck Olathe’s Haley Turley drives over Paonia guard Carson Pipher. Paonia lost its season-opener by two after trailing by as much as 13 against the Lady Pirates. The game was also a fundraiser for the family of Grant Arterburn.The Lady Eagles opened the season with a non-conference 57-55 loss to Olathe.
It could have been worse.
Paonia led by six after Mandy Busta scored from the three-point line with 20 seconds remaining in the first period. Olathe rallied to tie the game at 15 with just over four minutes remaining in the half. Abby Campbell, who usually shoots inside, took the Lady Pirates by surprise with a trey to put Paonia ahead by 15. But Olathe kept coming back, and trailed by two at the half.
Olathe held Paonia to six points in the third and led, 43-30, going into the final quarter.
Paonia put up eight points in three minutes to trail 45-38. Bushta and Chelsy Reed each sank a three to bring Paonia to within five points with just under three minutes to go.
Abby Campbell made a trip to the free throw line for two, and Olathe's Haley Turley sank two from the line for a 52-48 lead.
Paonia scored four more points, but a goal by Turley with less than 10 seconds remaining put the win just out of reach.
Paonia placed third in the eight-team Tiger Tip-off tournament at Holy Family Dec. 6-8.
The Lady Eagles opened the bracket with a 55-21 win over Northridge (4A Tri-Valley League). Paonia overcame a first-period, seven-point deficit to tie St Mary's (3A Tri-Peaks League) 33-33.
The Eagles scored only two points in overtime for a 44-35 loss. They placed third in the eight-team bracket after a 43-34 win over Valley (3A Patriot League).
Paonia has no scheduled games this week and will compete next weekend in the First Bank of Colorado Tournament in Delta.