Highlands Ranch (51)
Lujen 2 3-4 6, Opheim 1 0-0 3, Morgan 4 1-1 9, Neuhaus 9 0-0 19, Hickey 3 2-2 9, Wainright 1 0-0 2. Total 20 6-7 51.
Legacy (68) Glen 9 1-2 23, Salaz 2 0-0 6, Kuyper 2 0-0 4, Edwards 9 7-9 28, Ca. Smith 2 0-1 4, Co. Smith 1 1-2 4. Total 25 9-13 68.
Score by quarters:
Highlands Ranch 13 16 11 11 – 51
Legacy 17 20 22 9 – 68
3-point field goals – Highlands Ranch (3): Neuhaus, Opheim, Hickey; Legacy (9): Glen 4, Salaz, Edwards 3. Total fouls – Highlands Ranch 15; Legacy 13. Fouled out – Neuhaus. Technical fouls – none.
BROOMFIELD – Have you your star recruit? Your sharp-shooting guard? Pioneers! O Pioneers!
If Tuesday night was any indication of Kailey Edwards’ potential, then the answer is an emphatic yes on both counts. The University of Denver-bound senior was a one-woman wrecking ball in arguably fourth-ranked Legacy’s biggest win of the season.
The dynamic Edwards struck from everywhere on the court in her team’s 68-51 win over defending Class 5A champion Highlands Ranch. And the Pioneers were there to watch every one of her 28 points drop on the third-ranked Falcons.
“I knew the coaches were going to be at the game and they said they might bring a few players,” said Edwards, whose previous season-high scoring output was 21 points. “But I had no idea they were going to bring the entire team.”
Edwards put on a show for her future teammates from tipoff. She caught fire from the very start, helping Legacy (5-1) to a a four-point lead over Highlands Ranch (4-3) by halftime.
The guard opened by working her inside game, driving the lane for 10 points in the opening period and 16 by halftime. But it was when she found her touch from distance in the third that Edwards grounded the Falcons for good.
The guard shot 4-for-5 in the period, hitting her first four shots, including her first three 3-pointers.
“I came out thinking we have nothing to lose tonight, all I’m going to do is go out and play my hardest and if I get hot, I get hot,” Edwards said. “I got hot.”
Edwards’ performance was just icing on the cake for Legacy. Nearly every facet of the Lightning’s game gleamed.
Emily Glen was her persistently-precise self from the perimeter on the way to a 23-point evening, with the senior hitting four of her team’s nine 3-pointers. And Caitlin and Courtney Smith provided the Lightning with a strong inside presence, with the sisters shutting down the boards.
“You have two or three players hitting like that, it’s pretty tough to defend,” Legacy coach Craig Van Patten said.
At first the game appeared to be a shootout between two of the Pioneers’ recruits. Michaela Neuhaus (also committed to Denver) kept Highlands Ranch even with the Lightning for much of the first half.
The small and speedy guard slashed and shot her way to nine points in the first, setting her on the road to 19 for the night. But Neuhaus faded late, scoring only six points in the second half before fouling out in the fourth.
“Kailey not only played great offense to night, but also great defense,” Van Patten said. “She and Emily took turns defending Neuhaus and I think kind of wore her out.”