Girls advance to Sweet 16, but face loss
The road back to the final four for the Pueblo West girls basketball team looked clear last Friday.
The Cyclones bounced Palisade out of the 4A state playoffs 60-49 at D’Evelyn High School to advance to the Sweet 16.
Haley Simental led the way for the Cyclones with 19 points in the victory.
Makenzie Franklin poured in nine points to assist with the win.
It was a daunting task for Palisade to overcome the defense of West in the first half.
The Bulldogs tallied 11 first-half points against the Cyclones. Palisade managed 37 in the second half but the Cyclones’ offense was a juggernaut the entire evening.
D’Evelyn 74, West 50
The following night, the Cyclones’ encountered a metaphorical “road closed” sign, which ended their journey against D’Evelyn on the Jaguars home court.
Four Jaguars finished in double figures including senior Malia Shappell who dropped 16 points and a career-high 13 boards.
Pueblo West trailed 19-9 entering the second quarter and never recovered from its shaky start.
The Cyclones were outscored 55-31 the final three quarters and could not stop the onslaught of D’Evelyn’s offense.
Mallory Seemann led her team with 20 points followed by Shappell’s 16.
Katie Cunniff and Lexi Reed also totaled 21 combined points for the D’Evelyn in the victory.
“It was a tough game against a high quality opponent and it was a tough loss to handle since it was such a high stake game,” said head coach Gil Lucero.
“We knew going in that seeding for the state playoffs was at stake. I basically told the girls that if we win, we would get a seed in the playoffs and the advantage of hosting the games on our home court. If we lost, we would be traveling.”
View reporter Hope Sickler contributed to this report.