DENVER – The Class 3A girls state basketball tournament opened Thursday at the Denver Coliseum with a classic upset.
Centauri, the ninth seed, knocked off No. 1 seed and previously undefeated Pagosa Springs 36-35.
The Falcons opened up a six-point lead by intermission but the Pirates inched back.
Centauri held off Pagosa as Veronica Fringer scored four of the Falcons’ seven fourth-quarter points. She led Centauri with 14 points, Alyssa Gomez adding 11.
Morgan Lewis matched Fringer’s effort, leading the Pirates with 14.
In the first game of the day, Lutheran handled Moffat County 55-40. The Lions built a 34-15 halftime lead in cruising to the victory.
Morgan Barone and Kristin Vigil provided a strong one-two punch for Lutheran, the former leading all scorers with 20 points and Vigil adding 18. Morgan Lawton paced the Bulldogs with 17
Second-seeded Sterling jumped out to a 16-5 lead in the first quarter and eased to a 43-26 victory over Faith Christian.
The Tigers got balanced scoring behind Jenna Knudson (16), Abbey Browder (12) and Kylie Chavez (8). Hristina Geraskova’s 12 paced the Eagles.
Manitou Springs cruised to a victory in the nightcap, defeating Eaton 55-27.
The Mustangs held the Reds to nine points in the first half, taking a 25-point lead at intermission.
“We just knew we had to have a strong start,” said junior guard Shelby Megyeri, who scored 12 points.
“I was real excited about how we played defense,” Manitou coach Jon Asp said.
“We knew we had to stay in help defense and keep them from shooting the 3,” said Angala Jensen, who led all scorers with 18 points.
Jensen said the players were nervous entering the Coliseum.
“We decided we were going to eliminate those nerves in warmups,” she said.
Kaci Jurgnsmeier paced the Reds with 10 points.
In Friday’s consolation round, Pagosa Springs and Moffat County square off at 8:45 a.m. Faith Christian and Eaton meet at 11:45.
The semifinals find Sterling and Manitou Springs facing off at 4 p.m. Centauri and Lutheran complete the girls’ schedule at 7:00.