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Lady Raptors Fight to the End in 5A Playoffs

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Lady Raptors Fight to the End in 5A Playoffs

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Raptor Athletics Twitter

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Caleb Sewell, Sports Editor

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On February 20th, the Eaglecrest Lady Raptors played the No. 20 Columbine Lady Rebels in the first round of the playoffs. The Raptors came into game as the No.45 seed with a 9-14 record, and they were fresh off of a win against the Cherokee Trail Cougars. They won that game 37-36.

This game was different. It was an opportunity to further their Basketball team success and match there playoff win total that they got last year after beating Liberty in the first round. That was the first playoff game that the ladies won in over a decade and this year they wanted to beat the odds set against them again.

Girls varsity Head Coach Robbie Gabrielli spoke on his hope for his team, “ We want to be playing our best basketball coming into playoffs and really give ourselves a chance to win another playoff game. Our season didn’t go as planned, but it’s all about how you’re playing this time of year, and we think we can go in and surprise some people like we did last year.”

The ladies were definitely playing their best basketball as of late. After going on a six game losing streak earlier in the season the ladies caught fire. They won five of their last six games. This included two wins against Smoky Hill, a win against Overland, Mullen, and a great win against rival Cherokee Trail.

Raptor Senior and Co-Captain Calah Sewell had a season ending injury with a torn ACL, during the Raptors second game against Grandview. She was apart of setting the tone defensively for the Girls as well as others.

A key component for the Raptors was in returning player Jadyn Ross, who returned late after she missed a majority of the season due to a knee injury. She was excited that she could get back to playing. Ross spoke on what it was like to be back. “It feels very good to be back, I’m excited to finally be able to play for my team again, said Ross. Gabrielli shared that excitement, “It’s been nice having Jadyn come back. She was a freshman last year and she started most of the year, so anytime you can add an impact player back for the team, and for her it’s a good mental thing for her to come back to play, and I think it lifts her spirits, and her teammates as well.”

Pre- game during Warm- Ups, you could see the energy in the atmosphere. The Raptors previously played the Rebels earlier this season in a Columbine tournament where they slimy lost 40-45. The Raptors were ready for the game to be a battle.

The Raptors started off hot. At the end of the first quarter, the Raptors were up 6-4. The game was tight defensively, as the Raptors caused some turnovers. They couldn’t capitalize on all of them, but they were able to push the tempo. They were hanging in there with one of the best teams in the state. The only thing they had to work on was making shots, and the thing they couldn’t control, the refs whistles.

The second quarter of the game the Rebels went on a 11-5 run. The quarter was capped of with Columbine’s junior center, Maura Singer hitting a three pointer off the backboard when the buzzer went off.

The Raptors came into the second half playing hard. Eaglecrest went on a 5-0 run to start and they go their first lead of the half making the score 16-15. Columbine then went on a little run hitting back to back threes on the ladies. That put the Rebels up 21-16 with 4:43 left in the third quarter. The Rebels still were able to outscore the Raptors in the third quarter, 15-11. At the end of the quarter the Raptors were down 22-30.

Fourth quarter the Raptors went back to their game. Senior, Jordan Stoner and Junior, Raquel Turner both hit threes to bring the Raptors within three. With 6:11 to go in the game, the Raptors were now down 31-34. The Raptors continued to capitalize on the the Rebels defensive lapses. Junior , Hidaya Thorton hit a floater to give the Raptors a one point slight lead in the fourth quarter. The score was then 35-34. The Ladies couldn’t hold the lead as Columbine hit some hard contested shots. The Rebels ended up winning the playoff game, 41-37.

Under Gabrielli’s second year heading the program, the ladies have been able to produce 19 wins. The program looks bright as they will be returning Turner, Thorton, Alexis Dixon, Maddie Unrein, Jessica Blethen, Ross, Alyysa Sandoval- Jimenez, Taylor Potthoff, and Isabella Coffman.

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About the Writer
Caleb Sewell, Sports Editor

Caleb Sewell, currently a senior at Eaglecrest, is entering his first year on the Eagle Quill staff as the sports editor. In his free time he enjoys long...

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Lady Raptors Fight to the End in 5A Playoffs