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Montrose girls basketball beats Ponderosa to reach 4A Great 8

(Christina Martin/Montrose Press)

MONTROSE — With three players in double-figure scoring, Montrose girls basketball beat Ponderosa in the Class 4A Sweet 16, and is now headed to the Great 8.

Kennadie Minerich led the way with 15 points, Josie Eccher had 11, and Ally Nichols scored 10 for No. 6 Montrose, which won 51-46.

They will now host No. 14 Mullen, which upset No. 3 Pueblo West in the Sweet 16.

"What a huge win for us," Montrose coach Steve Skiff said. "This was the best all around game we have played. Offensively we executed our plan, and played great team basketball. I could not be more proud of our energy, enthusiasm and outstanding effort that my team played with. We are excited to host another home game in front of our great home fans."

Montrose jumped out quickly on Wednesday, opening leads of 5-0 and 10-5 in the first quarter, but Ponderosa rallied to cut the lead to 13-10 after one.

The game stayed close in the second quarter, with Montrose clinging to a 20-19 lead at halftime.

In the third quarter, Montrose pushed its lead to 28-22. Again, Ponderosa rallied back, cutting the lead to 28-26. Montrose held a narrow lead after three quarters: 35-34.

In the fourth, with Montrose up 43-38, Eccher hit a 3-pointer to make it 46-38. They held on for the win.

The last time Montrose reached the Great 8 was in 2013.

"Tonight was an all around team win," senior Brenna Moss said. "We knew it was going to be a tough one and showed up to win. Our defense led to great offense and we just kept going.

"Tonight we went out and just played ball and had fun which led us to the win," Moss said. "We are excited to be in the elite eight, but we will have to work hard this week before facing our opponent Friday."