BROOMFIELD — A rocky game shooting Friday night, produced Holy Family’s lowest offensive output of the season. But it was not enough to derail the top-seeded team from its run to match history.
The Tigers beat Estes Park in the first round of the Class 3A state tournament, knocking off the 32nd-seeded team 44-20. But it took plenty of patience on the host team’s part to keep trucking toward its fifth consecutive state championship, a distinction presently held only by Broomfield in 4A.
Holy Family finished the night shooting 40-percent from the floor, making 17 of 42 field goal attempts. But statistics did not rattle the Tigers, with the only numbers mattering to the team being the ones on the scoreboard.
“The postseason, the most important thing is winning and moving on,” Holy Family center Kassie Johannsen said.
Johannsen was key in helping her team advance to the second round, where the Tigers (21-1) will host Florence at 1 p.m. today.
Johannsen slipped her team’s offensive doldrums in the second, finding a seam in the Estes Park’s defense to finish the period with a perfect showing from the paint. The senior scored eight points in the period, scoring on 4 of 4 attempts.
While she cooled down in the second half — hitting only one field goal — she finished the night with a respectable showing. She and teammate Stephanie Giltner each finished with a game-high 14 points.
“They were playing man-to-man on me in the second,” Johannsen said. “I only had one person guarding me so it was easy to take it to the rim.”
The Tigers took a 13-point lead into halftime, but perhaps the most memorable score of the evening came out of intermission. With her second basket of the third, Giltner set her school’s new career scoring record, with her baseline drive giving her 927 points, according to team statistics as reported by coach Ron Rossi.
She will need to average 17.8 points per game — if her team makes it to the 3A finals — to become her team’s first 1,000-plus point scorer.
Despite Estes Park (11-12) scoring a bit more than the team’s first meeting in December, the Tigers shut down the Bobcats.
Holy Family held the visitors to 10 points in each half and forced 21 turnovers — 14 of them coming by way of steals. Megan Chavez was the Tigers’ most adept pickpocket on the night, finishing with five steals. But it was her first two out of half that did the most damage.
The senior guard sucked away almost any hope of a Bobcats’ comeback in third, stealing the ball on Estes Park’s first two possessions and making layups off each.
“When our offense has been going right this season, our defense has always been there,” Chavez said. “That was true tonight. Things weren’t flowing offensively to start, but we held them to 10 points in the opening half and it made a difference.”
Amanda Dill was Estes Park’s top scorer with nine points. But the Bobcats did get good showing out of other players in different facets of the game. Evelyn Bangs made it a long night for the Tigers in the paint, with the post playing strong defense.
“She was tall and athletic,” Johannsen said. “We just had to work around her.”
Holy Family 44, Estes Park 20
At Holy Family HS
ESTES PARK (11-12)
Dill 3 2-4 9, Kingswood 0 1-2 1, Reilly 1 0-0 2, Palmer 1 0-0 3, Bangs 2 1-3 5. 7 4-9 20.
HOLY FAMILY (21-1)
Turney 1 0-0 2, L. Chavez 0 2-2 2, M. Chavez 3 2-2 8, Metzger 1 0-0 2, Giltner 4 4-4 14, Barnes 1 0-0 2, Johannsen 7 0-0 14. Total 17 8-8 44.
Score by quarters:
Estes Park 6 4 5 5 — 20
Holy Family 10 13 9 12 — 44
3-point field goals — Estes Park (2): Dill, Palmer; Holy Family (2): Giltner. Total fouls — Estes Park 10; Holy Family 9. Fouled out –none. Technical fouls — none.