Scorpions sting Cyclones
In a game that carried so much value for both teams’ playoff position, it was clear one star player needed to step up.
Sand Creek’s Mikayla Reese seized that opportunity Saturday, leading the Scorpions to a 50-43 non-conference victory over Pueblo West at Jerry Kersey Gym.
Cyclones guard Hayley Simental scored all six points for Pueblo West in the first quarter, including a jumper with one second left in the first.
Sand Creek’s putrid start was not how it planned to begin its game. The Scorpions missed their first nine shots. San Creek did not connect from the field until Ashley Ramsey knocked down a 17-foot jumper more than six minutes into the quarter.
Pueblo West head coach Gil Lucero said before the game that he did not want his team to run with Sand Creek (18-3) because of its ability to score. The inevitable, however, happened in the second quarter when the Scorpions went on a 14-6 run spearheaded by Oliana Squires’ five points, combined with Reese’s defense and playmaking.
“Mikayla did a lot of other things besides scoring,” said Sand Creek head coach Jamie Carey. “She got everything organized, and was the voice on the floor. We have so many different weapons we can use on any given night.”
After Sand Creek took an 18-12 lead to halftime, the Cyclones closed to within two points when Shyanne DeVille notched back-to-back 3s.
Six minutes remained in the third period. As it turned out, that was as close as the Cyclones would come the remainder of the game.
Scorpions center Liah Davis poured in 13 of her 15 points in the second half and pulled down 17 boards for the game.
Pueblo West (16-5) usually benefits from its solid free-throw shooting but Sand Creek turned that advantage on its head in the fourth quarter, hitting 12-of-16 free throws. Squires was clutch and went 7-for-8 from the line in the period.
“We try to drill it (free throws) in practice and hope it carries over to the games,” Carey said. “It did tonight.”
P. West girls 43, Pueblo Cty. 37
Pueblo WEst locked up at least a second-place finish in the South-Central League with its 43-37 win over Pueblo County.
“We played really well in the second and fourth quarters scoring 14 and 17 points, respectively,” said Lucero. “This was a big game for us because this win virtually locked us in for a 2nd place finish in the S-CL. The team did well defensively, holding County’s top 2 scorers to a combined 17 points well below their season average,.”
Haley Simental and Bri Rodriguez carried the scoring with 15 and 14 points while Shyanne DeVille was strong on the boards again with 8 points.
P. West boys 55, Pueblo Cty. 41
Pueblo West’s boys basketball team has been on a roller coaster all season. It may have hit its plateau in the week of Feb. 9-15.
West boosted its win streak to three-straight after two victories. The Cyclones started the week by routing the Pueblo County Hornets.
A few days before Valentine’s Day, the Cyclones showed the winless Pueblo County Hornets no love at Mel Spence Gym.
Juniors Billy Daugherty and David Arrieta led the team in scoring with 17 and 11 points respectively. The Cyclones defense held the County to four points in the second quarter and never looked back. The winless Hornets struggled to put points on the board in the first half, and their surge in the third quarter proved to be futile.
P. West boys 64, Sand Creek 62
The young Cyclones have struggled in close games this season. Last Saturday, however, they managed to hang on down the stretch against a savvy Sand Creek squad.
Freshman David Simental posted 16 points against the Scorpions’ defense. The strong game from the freshman as well as a 20-point first quarter provided the necessary boost to stave off a late run from Sand Creek.
Coach Bob Tyler’s squad improved to 10-11 and plays its final regular-season game Friday at Canon City.