COLORADO SPRINGS — It was an intense and exciting playoff atmosphere at Doherty High School Friday night. The Class 5A girls basketball playoff battle between No. 20 Columbine and No. 13 Doherty came down to the wire and resulted in the Rebels getting the 46-44 upset win.
“Just keep calm," is what Columbine’s coach Greg Bolding had to say when his girls came back to tie the game in the fourth quarter with three minutes left.
The game had started off slow for Columbine who missed their first three shots of the game, allowing Doherty to take a six-point lead early on. Columbine managed to keep it close and finished the first quarter trailing 11-10.
The next two quarters had the same story where baskets from Doherty’s Unique Semadeni and Brionna McBride kept the Spartans in the lead, but Columbine continued to be right at their door knocking.
The fourth quarter started with Columbine’s Maura Singer making two free throws that tied the game. It was short lived though when Doherty went on a 6-0 run to retake the lead with five minutes remaining.
However, the Spartans couldn't outlast the resilience of Columbine, as multiple fouls and mistakes lead to free throws and turnovers. With the score at 45-44 with Columbine ahead, Columbine’s Jenna Lohrenz was fouled with 11 seconds left.
“(I had) so many nerves,” Lohrenz said as she stood on the free throw line with the game in her hands. “I just focused in on my teammates and told myself you got this Jenna, you can make this and when I made the first one, I knew we had it.”
With the free throw that Lohrenz made, Columbine was ahead 46-44 with only a few seconds left for Doherty to get a look at a shot.
With only two and a half seconds left, Doherty passed the ball in to an open Abbi Noll who's shot fell short and as the buzzer rang out. The Columbine girls and coaches rushed the floor in celebration.
“This game is so huge for our program who haven’t won a playoff game in eight years,” Bolding said. “I’m very proud of my girls the way they were able to calm their emotions and be able to come back and get the win.”
Doherty was lead in scoring by McBride with 12 points and Mykiaa Minnis with 11. The Spartans finished their season with a League Championship and an overall record of 20-4.
With this win over Doherty, Columbine will advance to the Sweet 16 and face No. 4 Grandview on Feb. 27.
“Our team is resilient,” Bolding said. “We’re going to come together and put up a good game plan, so we can continue to be successful as we move forward.”