ARVADA — Ralston Valley senior Bailey Wall ended Senior Night appropriately for the Mustangs on Tuesday.
Wall came off the bench in the final minutes and sunk a 3-pointer just before the buzzer for the No. 5-ranked Mustangs to give Ralston Valley a 57-36 victory over Lakewood.
“She (Wall) has been with us for four years,” Bevington said of her fellow senior. “For her to hit that was big for her. We will all share that moment. I’m glad it happened. It was awesome.”
What Ralston Valley (11-2 record) has done over the past month might not be defined as “awesome”, but the Mustangs have been pretty darn good riding a 9-game winning streak since losing to No. 2 Valor Christian back on Feb. 3.
The Mustangs cruised through the rest of Class 5A Jeffco League play with double-digit victories to finish runner-up to Valor in the conference. However, Ralston Valley had to hang on late against Mountain Vista a week ago before getting wins over Lewis-Palmer and Lakewood.
“We haven’t played great the last couple of games. We’ve played some really good quarters,” Ralston Valley coach Jeff Gomer said. “We just haven’t put four together. Sometimes we just lose focus. We get a lead and then we take it out of gear.”
Ralston Valley got out of the gates quick with a 16-3 lead after the first quarter Tuesday. The Mustangs held a 31-12 lead at halftime, but Lakewood (6-7) battled back outscoring Ralston Valley 18-13 in the third quarter.
Lakewood juniors Logan Watson (12 points) and Briana Robles (9 points), along with senior Mariah Ramos (9 points) led the charge for the Tigers.
“We just watched them go to the basket the whole third quarter,” Gomer said of the Tigers’ 18-point quarter that allowed Lakewood to cut into Ralston Valley’s lead.
Ralston Valley was a bit frustrated not being able to put Lakewood away in the third quarter.
“We slipped up really bad in the third quarter. We wanted to come out after halftime and stomp on them, but we didn’t do that,” Bevington said. “We definitely need to work on that. We need to treat these games like we are playing a top team in the state.”
The Mustangs did get things going in the fourth quarter. Seymour, who finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds, poured in the first six points of the final quarter to extend Ralston Valley’s lead.
“We just got a little lazy with our defense and rebounding in the third,” Seymour said. “The fourth quarter we needed to get going. We sped it up a little bit and made our shots. We did what we needed to do.”
Bevington had a game-high 20 points and junior Saya Sabus had 10 points. Wall, along with freshmen Sophia Sabus and Hannah Somorin each contributed a 3-pointer for the Mustangs. Senior McKenna Nichols went 3-for-4 from the free-throw line on Senior Night.
It was the final regular-season game for the Tigers. Lakewood was 25th in RPI to start the night, so Lakewood should make the 32-team 5A state tournament field. The state bracket is scheduled to be released Monday, March 8.
Ralston Valley has one final non-league game against Denver East at home Thursday night.
“We need to put all our little things together,” Seymour said heading into the playoffs. “We’ve had sporadicly good little spurts. We need to put it all together.”