DENVER — For the opening half Thursday, Stephanie Giltner played on her own level.
The senior rocked the Manual Thunderdome in the semifinals of the Metro League District tournament, leading second-seeded Holy Family to a big win over one of its oldest rivals. But guard stepped out of her usual role as slashing attacker in the Tigers’ 60-37 victory over third-seeded Faith Christian.
Giltner’s sharp shooting from the perimeter was her weapon of choice and she pulled the trigger on it over and over.
“I felt confident with my shot and what my team was doing out there,” said Giltner, who hit five 3-pointers in the opening 16 minutes. “I was happy with what we were able to accomplish.”
Holy Family (20-1) had put the kibosh on Faith Christian (14-7) by halftime behind Giltner’s effort. But the team and its hot-shot senior had plenty of motivation in knocking off the Eagles.
The win sets up a 6 p.m. Saturday rematch with top seed Machebeuf at the Thunderdome in the district championship. It is a game the Tigers have been licking their chops for since falling to the Buffaloes in January for their only loss this season.
“We’re really excited for Saturday,” Giltner said.
Giltner had a strong half, but shined in the opening period.
She did not miss behind the arc in the period, shooting 4 for 4 from 3-point range. She then put the finishing touches on her long-range shooting the next period, hitting her final three to help the Tigers lead 43-16 after two periods.
Giltner finished the game with her second-best offensive showing of the season with 22 points. But she was just one of three prongs, of which the Tigers’ attack skewered their rivals.
Megan Chavez hit four shots from the floor to finish with 11 points. And Kassie Johannsen had a steady 6-of-7 showing from the free-throw line to help fuel an 18-point afternoon.
“It was important to start the game that way,” Johannsen said. “And it was a lot of fun running (the floor) like we did.”
The semifinals were not all 3-pointers and double-digit showings for Holy Family. The Tigers were a shadow of themselves in the second half. The team’s scoring slowed down in the third and almost disappeared in the fourth.
The Tigers turned the ball over seven times and scored just three points in the final period. Faith Christian was not able to do much with the opening though. The team scored 14 points in the fourth, but it was too little and too late by that point.
Abby Chapman had the most success of the Eagles finding the hoop, but most of the senior’s shots fell when Holy Family was hitting on all cylinders. The guard finish with a team-high 11 points, nine coming in the opening half.
“We lost a little focus after half with the lead we built,” Holy Family coach Ron Rossi said. “We just lost our momentum.”
Holy Family 60, Faith Christian 37
At Manual HS
FAITH CHRISTIAN (14-7)
Cambier 1 0-0 3, Rindels 2 0-0 5, Hock 1 2-2 2, Hergarty 3 0-0 6, Cahpman 5 0-0 11, Jenkins 1 2-2 5, Pruett 1 0-0 2, Keiter 0 1-2 1, Odle 1 0-0 2. Total 14 5-6 37.
HOLY FAMILY (20-1)
Turney 0 1-2 1, L. Chavez 0 1-2 1, M. Chavez 4 2-2 11, Zeman 1 1-3 3, Metzger 1 0-0 2, Giltner 8 1-2 22, Johannsen 6 6-7 18, Blanchard 1 0-0 2. Total 21 12-18 60.
Score by quarters:
Faith Christian 12 4 7 14 — 37
Holy Family 25 18 14 3 — 60
3-point field goals — Faith Christian (4): Cambier, Rindels, Chapman, Jenkins; Holy Family (6): Giltner 5, M. Chavez. Total fouls — Faith Christian 15; Holy Family 8. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls— none.