Tim Hurst/Staff Photographer
ERIE — An early 3-point barrage from visiting Roosevelt threatened to put a damper on Erie’s final home game of the regular season.
A strong closing act from Grace Moyers, however, may have booked the Tigers at least one more hosting duty.
Moyers scored 26 of her 31 in the second half, Anna Hefner added 17 points, and Erie beat the Roughriders 76-63 to put itself in a strong position to play at home once the postseason begins next week.
With the Colorado High School Activities Association’s recent release of the rankings that will determine the postseason bracket for all classifications in basketball, the Tigers came into the night ranked 13th in Class 4A, while Roosevelt was 15th. The top 16 seeds in the 32-team bracket will host the first round.
“We knew it would be a battle for us tonight,” said Erie coach Chris Walls, whose team was coming off a 73-64 win over Mead 24 hours earlier. “We played a good one last night and we knew if we could keep the momentum going, we’d be in pretty good shape tonight, and we were. And we feel it’ll help boost us because I think that’s a pretty good RPI game to get us up there a little bit.”
Erie (10-3) trailed by as many as nine in the first half and led by 12 at the end of the third. Then holding onto a 64-59 lead in the waning minutes of regulation, Moyers hit back-to-back 3s and Hefner added another bucket as the Tigers held on for their fifth straight win.
Moyers alone had dazzled throughout the second half, scoring 12 in the third, and 14 in the fourth. A nifty drive to the basket fooled the defense on the frontend of a 3-point play in the third, then she quickly followed with a deep swish a few feet back of the perimeter. In the fourth, she buried four of her five 3s on the night.
“We just came together and said the second half is going to be our half,” Moyers said. “We were just going to do what we needed to do to win.”
Moyers’ 31 points were two shy of her career-high mark, which she set against Silver Creek on February 10. Her scoring average this season is around 21 points per game, which leads the 5A/4A Northern Colorado Athletic Conference and is good for top 10 in the state. Deb Altshuler added 11 points in the win, while Genevieve Gudino had eight.
Earlier, Mackenzie Sailors had consecutive 3s in the opening quarter for Roosevelt (10-3), then Brynn Price hit another pair to push the lead to 20-11. The Roughriders, ranked fifth in the class with 6.8 3s per game, connected six times from deep in the frame and finished with 14 long balls on the night. Erie, which came in second in 4A with 7.3 3s per game, finished with 10.
The Tigers stormed back late in the half on an 11-0 run paced by Hefner, who had a pair of tap-ins and two free throws to put Erie up 34-29. Price put a halt to it with her third three of the half — Roosevelt’s eighth — to make it 34-32 going into the break.
Then it was “The Moyers Show”. The junior scored 26 of her team’s 42 points in the second half.
“We made a couple adjustments here and there,” Walls said. “… It also helps when you got someone like Grace who comes down and buries some 3s to counter them.”
The regular season concludes Saturday. Erie is at Berthoud and the Roughriders are home against Silver Creek.