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Girls basketball: Holy Family heads to a fourth straight Class 4A Great 8

Host Tigers beat Skyview 54-41

  • BROOMFIELD — Holy Family's Maggie Dooley ...

    Brent W. New/BoCoPreps.com

    BROOMFIELD — Holy Family's Maggie Dooley shoots Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

  • BROOMFIELD — Holy Family's Makenna Bertsch, ...

    Brent W. New/BoCoPreps.com

    BROOMFIELD — Holy Family's Makenna Bertsch, with a Skyview defender pressuring Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

  • BROOMFIELD — Holy Family's Mariah Quintana ...

    Brent W. New/BoCoPreps.com

    BROOMFIELD — Holy Family's Mariah Quintana dribbles Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

  • BROOMFIELD — Holy Family's Julia Hodell ...

    Brent W. New/BoCoPreps.com

    BROOMFIELD — Holy Family's Julia Hodell shoots Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

  • BROOMFIELD — Holy Family's Essynce Contreraz ...

    Brent W. New/BoCoPreps.com

    BROOMFIELD — Holy Family's Essynce Contreraz dribbles Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

  • BROOMFIELD — Holy Family's Fiona Snashall ...

    Brent W. New/BoCoPreps.com

    BROOMFIELD — Holy Family's Fiona Snashall sets up the offense Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

  • BROOMFIELD — Holy Family's Essynce Contreraz ...

    Brent W. New/BoCoPreps.com

    BROOMFIELD — Holy Family's Essynce Contreraz dribbles Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

  • BROOMFIELD — Holy Family's Kaitlin Owens ...

    Brent W. New/BoCoPreps.com

    BROOMFIELD — Holy Family's Kaitlin Owens shoots Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

  • BROOMFIELD — Holy Family's Makenna Bertsch ...

    Brent W. New/BoCoPreps.com

    BROOMFIELD — Holy Family's Makenna Bertsch chases a loose ball Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

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BROOMFIELD — An early scoring drought was met by the loud roar of the visiting fans from Skyview, which for a few moments, seemed to pose a serious threat in derailing Holy Family’s road back to the Class 4A Great 8.

An illusion, it was.

No. 3 seed Holy Family regained its footing after a tough shooting stretch in the opening half in Tuesday night’s 4A Sweet 16, then pulled away in the final quarter to beat the 14-seed Wolverines, 54-41.

Essynce Contreraz led the way with 17 points and Mariah Quintana added 16 for the Tigers, who punched their ticket to the girls’ state quarterfinals for a fourth consecutive season. Makenna Bertsch and Maggie Dooley each had eight points.

“We just fed off the energy,” Contreraz said. “They were getting loud, they were getting anxious, which is what we like. We feed off that. It’s what we eat for breakfast every morning.”

Delicious.

The Tigers scored the first 10 points of the game before trailing midway through the second, then led by just five in the early minutes of the fourth before storming to a dominant finish.

Bertsch scored the first four of an 8-0 run to push the lead to 50-37 with 5:24 remaining. The Tigers’ defense, which has allowed an average of just 33.4 points per game over its last 10, held Skyview to just six points in the final quarter.

“Every team has their own identity,” Holy Family coach Ron Rossi said. “We can score points but our identity is that we play good defense. We take a lot of pride stopping people.”

They needed it on this night. Because as spectacular as its opening 10-0 run was — highlighted by successive 3s by Quintana — the offensive cracks were present soon thereafter in a scoring drought that spanned 5:54.

And as things went cold for Holy Family (21-3), with shots now seemingly reversing down and back up out of the rim like an X-Games halfpipe, the away fans rose to their feet as the Wolverines (21-4) made their upset bid.

Skyview — behind Mikylah Espinosa’s game-high 20 points — went on 7-0 spurt to close the quarter, then used another 10-0 run midway through the second to take a 17-14 lead.

The Tigers, though, regrouped, responding with a 13-0 run on the back of seven points from Contreraz. Her pair of free throws gave Holy Family a 28-19 lead with 6:10 left in the third.

“It was just a team effort, talking, staying together, knowing who is where,” Contreraz said. “That’s what won us the ball game.”

Holy Family will host No. 6 Green Mountain on Friday, as the Rams beat Northridge 69-56 Tuesday night.

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