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Girls basketball: Pueblo West shuts down Centaurus in 4A quarterfinals

Centaurus' Gianna Manfredini, left, tries to drive past Pueblo West's Daisy Romero during the Warriors' state quarterfinal loss at the Denver Coliseum on Saturday.
Jonathan Castner
Centaurus’ Gianna Manfredini, left, tries to drive past Pueblo West’s Daisy Romero during the Warriors’ state quarterfinal loss at the Denver Coliseum on Saturday.

DENVER — On the bright side, Centaurus will be getting much of its girls soccer roster back.

Warriors basketball coach Jeff Jackson wanted to maintain claim of the many dual-sport athletes on his roster for a little longer, but Centaurus’ season ended on a snowy Saturday morning with a 40-29 loss to Pueblo West in the Class 4A quarterfinals.

The Warriors (18-8) competed after the top-seeded Cyclones (25-1) threatened to run away with it early at the Denver Coliseum, but ultimately Centaurus’ dismal shooting percentage (20.6) was the determining factor.

“Coming in, we knew they were a good team and that we’d have to respond early,” Centaurus coach Jeff Jackson said. “We responded well the first three quarters, then we got a little tight and lost our focus in the fourth.”

In a contest in which each team struggled mightily from the floor — Centaurus was 7 for 34, Pueblo West 7 for 31 — made baskets carried an added significance. None was bigger than Celeste Wormington’s 3-pointer just before the third-quarter buzzer, which stretched a one-point Cyclones lead to 27-23.

Pueblo West then scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter to put it away. All were at the foul line, where the Cyclones went 25 for 33.

“I’m really proud of the team,” said Centaurus senior center Gianna Manfredini, who grabbed 11 rebounds. “We came out a little slow, but all of us worked together to get back into the game and show them what we can do.”

The Cyclones dominated early. They leapt to an 11-1 advantage as the No. 2 Warriors appeared a bit frazzled and impatient. But Centaurus calmed down, and when Manfredini nailed a baseline jumper late in the second quarter, it was 15-15.

It remained close until the Cyclones, who got a game-best 16 points from sophomore Haley Simental, held Centaurus scoreless for the first 5:25 of the fourth.

“I’m really happy that we came back, and I’m really happy that we didn’t give up,” Warriors forward Taylor Langer said. “It’s kind of a bittersweet end. We were expecting to go farther, but I’m really proud of the team for coming back and that we went out giving it everything that we had.”

Centaurus will lose six seniors, including leading scorers Anna Hubbell and Lyndie Puckett (team-best nine points).

Hubbell hit her head on the floor late in the fourth and was being treated for a possible concussion. She was up and moving around regularly after the game.

The senior class is largely responsible for helping Centaurus reach the Great 8 in successive seasons after not having been there since 1994.

“I think after losing three starters from last year, no one really knew where this team was going to end up,” Jackson said. “But I had high hopes for them all along.”

Follow Paul on Twitter: @PaulWillis21


Pueblo West 40, Centaurus 29

At Denver Coliseum


Langer 2 3-6 8, Anderson 0 0-0 0, Manfredini 1 1-2 3, Hubbell 1 0-0 2, Esler 1 2-4 4, Puckett 2 3-3 9, Gofran 0 0-0 0, Patterson 0 3-4 3, Dondelinger 0 0-0 0. Totals 7 12-20 29.


Leyva 1 5-8 7, Romero 3 6-7 12, Rodriguez 0 2-2 2, Simental 2 12-15 16, Wormington 1 0-1 3, Fort 0 0-0 0, Brodie 0 0-0 0. Totals 7 25-33 40.

Score by quarters:

Centaurus 9 6 8 6 — 29

Pueblo West 12 5 10 13 — 40

3-point field goals — Centaurus (3): Puckett 2, Langer; Pueblo West (1): Wormington. Total fouls — Centaurus 21, Pueblo West 12. Fouled out — None. Technical fouls — None.