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DENVER — Against high-scoring Denver School of Science and Technology-Stapleton, the Peak to Peak girls hoped to slow Saturday’s Class 3A Sweet 16 game way down to keep it close until the end.

The Pumas’ plan almost worked.

Although the Pumas trailed by just two points at halftime, the third-seeded Knights pulled away in the third quarter to win 39-29. The loss halted the 19th-seeded Pumas’ playoff run in the Sweet 16, where it has ended in for three straight seasons.

“Our plan was to keep it slow, have a low-scoring game and keep control of it,” Pumas senior Ivy DeVries said. “Once they got their run, we got out of control and started picking up the pace. That’s where we lost it.”

The Pumas controlled the ball for lengthy offensive possessions in the first half. Their game plan held the Knights to 12 points in the first half.

But in the third quarter, during which the Pumas committed six turnovers, the Knights opened the frame with a 9-0 run and outscored the Pumas 17-4.

“We had a few turnovers in the third and they hit a 3. They hit some shots and got away from us a little bit,” Peak to Peak coach Chad Rathbun said. “We were trying to keep the game slow and boring and they kind of got us out of control. We were in it at the end, at least.”

Junior Annette Warner scored six points in the fourth quarter and led the Pumas on a 13-6 run that cut the lead to six points with 40 seconds left. With the Knights in the bonus, however, it was too late.

“We needed passion in the girls and our coach told us we just needed to work hard and push,” said Warner, who struggled with foul trouble. “It’s the last game we get to play with our seniors so we worked hard and made our baskets. Losing those seniors is tough but we’ll continue to work hard and we should have a good team for next year.”

Never finding her shooting stroke, DeVries (15.0 points per game) finished with eight points and 12 rebounds. Warner led the Pumas with 10 points and blocked five shots.

The Knights are averaging 62.2 points per game. Through their defense and the pace of the game, the Pumas held the Knights under 40 points for just the fourth time this season. They also kept Knights scorers Bailee Cotton (17.0 ppg), Jaelyn Smith (13.2), Carmen Ramey (11.6) and Bradlee Cotton (11.5) well under their scoring averages.

Follow Brad on Twitter: @BradCochi


DSST 39, Peak to Peak 29

At Bruce Randolph HS


Wetmore 0 0-0 0, Roda 0 0-0 0 ,Kia 1 5-6 7, Danielson 0 0-0 0, Hazzard 1 0-0 2, Warner 5 0-2 10, DeVries 2 4-4 8, Colgate 0 0-0 0, Martinez 1 0-0 2, Calloway 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 9-12 29.

DSST (22-2)

Anderson 0 0-0 0, Smith 3 3-6 9, Ramey 1 0-0 3, Lewis 1 3-4 5, Groves 3 0-0 6, Ba. Cotton 1 4-4 6, Bourlakov 0 0-0 0, Br. Cotton 3 4-6 10. Totals 12 14-20 39.

Score by quarters:

Peak to Peak 6 4 4 15 — 29

DSST 4 8 17 10 — 39

3-point field goals — Peak to Peak (0): None; Denver Science & Technology Stapleton (1): Ramey. Total fouls — Peak to Peak 15, Denver Science & Technology 15. Fouled out — Ba. Cotton. Technical fouls — None.