As part of an incredible Dragon defensive effort, senior Victoria Race, at left, snatches the ball away from a Soroco player during the regional championship in Holyoke on Saturday. — The Holyoke Enterprise | Johnson Publications
Girls statebound after big comeback
Dragon gym was on fire last Saturday afternoon, March 7, when a huge crowd of family and friends witnessed a come-from-behind win for the Holyoke girls basketball team in the 2A Region 1 championship.
“We started slow but finished strong,” said coach John Baumgartner. “Our crowd was a huge advantage to us.”
The 41-32 win over Soroco earned the Lady Dragons a spot in the “Great Eight” at the state tournament Thursday-Saturday, March 12-14, at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland.
Holyoke plays Ignacio at 7 p.m. Thursday.
“It’s good to be back again,” said Baumgartner in reference to the state tournament. With about 10 state appearances under his belt, the most recent for Baumgartner was in 2018 when the girls won the consolation championship.
“It’s been a total team effort” to get to this point, he said.
With a 22-1 record, Holyoke enters state with the No. 2 seed. They actually have the top spot in the Colorado High School Activities Association’s RPI ranking, but Baumgartner said Limon (23-1) was seeded No. 1 on the state bracket due to a number of considerations, including the fact that Limon beat Holyoke 35-31 in January.
Limon’s only loss this year was to Rocky Ford, who didn’t make it past the first game of regionals.
Rye (24-0) hosted Region 5 and is seeded No. 3 at state, followed by No. 4 seed Del Norte (20-3), who hosted Region 6.
Wray (17-7) was No. 14 on the regional bracket, and after a win over No. 19 Calhan, they upset No. 3 Meeker 57-55 in the championship. Wray comes in to state with the No. 5 seed.
Sanford (15-7) was No. 13 in the regional tournament and upset No. 4 Heritage Christian in the championship. They are seeded No. 6 at state.
Filling the No. 7 spot this weekend is Ignacio (18-5), the winner and host of Region 8. The final spot was claimed by Holly (14-10), who entered regionals as No. 23 and upset No. 7 Simla.
Holyoke 42, Lotus School for Excellence 8
Lotus School for Excellence entered regionals in the No. 32 spot and traveled from Aurora to face the No. 1 Lady Dragons on their home court last Friday, March 6.
“We came out and did what we needed to do to get the win,” said coach Baumgartner.
The Lady Dragons started off their regional experience with a commanding lead. Holyoke outscored Lotus 10-2 in the first quarter and 15-2 in the second period for a 25-4 lead at halftime.
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