A full week of basketball kept Cedaredge High School's girls' team busy preparing for last week's 2A District 5 tournament. The week began with quarterfinal action in Cedaredge on Tuesday. West Grand's Mustangs were in Cedaredge in hopes of advancing to District 5 semifinal and final rounds in De Beque. Cedaredge had other thoughts and ended the Mustang's season with a 49-39 victory.
The Bruins faced Soroco of the northern division in the 2A WSL. Soroco was a handful for the Bruins who eventually wore down the quick Rams squad from Oak Creek. Cedaredge used a strong second quarter to outlast its opponents for a 49-39 win.
Cedaredge played in the title game against Paonia on Saturday, where it was defeated 45-33. Story and results of the title contest may be found in a Paonia hoops story found in today's DCI. Despite the loss to Paonia, Cedaredge moves on to participate in this week's regional play.
CHS 49, WGHS 39
Senior Nellie Freeman scored 25 of the Bruins' 49 points against West Grand last Tuesday. Freeman had seven points in the first period and poured in another 10 counters in the third quarter, helping lead the Bruins to victory.
Cedaredge's 20 first half points were the main reason for a win against the Mustangs. The 10-point margin, 20-10, produced in the first half stayed the same at game's end due to a 29-29 second-half effort from each team.
The Bruins shot 16 free throws in the second half and cashed in on 11 of them.
West Grand's Peyton Bodemann tried to make a difference in the game, and did so in part, with 16 points. She scored 10 points in the third quarter, with six coming at the charity stripe in a six-for-eight effort.
Rheann Pesch had a good second half for the Mustangs with 11 of her 13 points coming in the final two periods.
Hannah Gilmore's 11 points gave the Bruins two players in double figures.
Bruins 58, Soroco 49
In one of the most demanding games of the season for Cedaredge, the Bruins played a steady game in the second half and fought off a scrappy Soroco team to earn the win. Making the game a tad bit more difficult was playing for a different coach due to the absence of head coach Ryan Hilbig, who was serving a one-game suspension for picking up a pair of technical fouls in the West Grand game on Tuesday.
Taking Hilbig's place was Cedaredge's junior varsity coach Carrie Berger, a graduate of Cedaredge High School, who played in a state tournament as a student athlete. Berger was probably more nervous than the players but performed her duties well in guiding the Bruins to victory.
Soroco showed its tenacity early in the game with a ferocious defense aimed at keeping the ball as far from the basket as possible.
Cedaredge trailed by one at the end of the first quarter.
The Bruins had a 7-0 stretch in the second period which helped Cedaredge take a 22-16 lead at 5:49 in the quarter. Both teams started finding the rim more often late in the frame and Cedaredge held a 30-22 lead with 3:03 left before halftime. The six-point margin stayed the same as play continued and Cedaredge took a 34-28 lead to its locker room at the half.
Scoring in the second half slowed as the Bruins outpointed Soroco 10-9 in the third frame.
Soroco made numerous attempts at closing the scoring gap in the fourth quarter only to have the Bruins counter with key baskets which produced the 58-49 victory for Cedaredge.
Berger was confident in the Bruins' ability to play the game but felt there were some different vibes from the players. "We played well, but there was just something about not having coach Hilbig at the helm making it seem strange. There was a variety of defenses that made coaching a bit harder throughout the game. They (Soroco) were quicker than we thought and that meant more adjustments."
"The halftime message was to play four quarters of basketball," noted Berger.
The key to victory against Soroco was simple, said Berger. "Leadership ... these girls are amazing!"
Eagles 45, Bruins 33
Coach Hilbig was on the floor for the title game on Saturday. The detailed results of this contest are found in the Paonia Eagles girls' story.
Both Paonia and Cedaredge are headed to regional play this week with games being played at either Rifle or Coal Ridge High School. The eight teams assigned to Region 3 play were divided into two groups. Teams playing in Region 3 Pool 1 include No. 1 Paonia (20-2), No. 4 Soroco (19-3), No. 5 Highland (15-7) and No. 8 Lyons (15-7). Region 3 Pool 2 teams include No. 2 Cedaredge (20-2), No. 3 Union Colony Prep (17-4), No. 6 Vail Christian (16-6) and No. 7 Clear Creek (18-4).