Hoehne High School girls basketball coach Beth Kreutzer made sure to hold some practices this week about the time the roosters crowed.
Kreutzer wanted to make sure her girls would be ready for action bright and early this morning when the Farmers open three days of play in the Class 2A state championships being held at Massari Arena on the Colorado State University-Pueblo campus.
Hoehne hits the court at 8:45 a.m. in the tourney lidlifter against Peyton. A full slate of girls and boys quarterfinal games is on tap throughout the day.
The Hoehne girls and Sanford boys are carrying Southern Colorado’s banners. Sanford finds itself on the opposite end of the time schedule with its 8:30 p.m. opener against Simla.
“We held two early practices this week to get ready for it,” Kreutzer said of the early game. “The girls are farmers and ranchers, so they’re used to getting up early.”
It will be Hoehne’s first state tournament appearance since 2008 when the Farmers lost a quarterfinal contest to Simla and then a consolation game to Sangre de Cristo.
This time Hoehne comes rolling into town on a 21-game winning streak and 22-1 record. Its only loss was to Class 3A Trinidad in the Trinidad State Junior College tournament.
“It’s been pretty exciting,” Kreutzer said of her club’s win streak. “We’ve worked hard since last summer. We try to play shutdown defense with lots of pressure and we have seven girls that can score pretty well.”
The leader is the coach’s daughter, junior point guard Cydney Kreutzer, who is averaging 17.4 points a game.
Joining her in the starting lineup are juniors Aspen Anderson, Megan Robins, Bailee Jones and sophomore Jordan Trujillo.
The Sanford boys are making their eighth state tournament appearance under head coach Rhett Larsen, who has compiled a 175-45 record in his 11 years at the helm. They tote a 23-1 record into this year’s tourney, losing only to Class 3A Alamosa and then cranking out 16 straight wins going into today’s game.
The Indians lost to two-time state champion Denver Christian the past two tournaments, falling in the semifinals last year and in the quarterfinals in 2012.
Larsen returns a veteran team that includes his son, 6-1 senior Calder Larsen, 6-5 sophomore pivot Chance Canty, 5-7 senior Dalton Rodriguez, 5-11 junior Dustin Faucette, 6-4 junior Brett Crowther, 5-10 junior Clayton Peterson and 5-10 sophomore Miles Caldon.
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