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Rampart sets tempo, then holds off Rocky Mountain to end playoff drought
Rampart set the pace, did very little wrong early and roared out to a commanding lead. Then the Rams had to sweat it out to earn their first postseason win in more than four years.
Macy Myers scored a team-high 17 points, Cassidy Budge added 10 points and 10 rebounds, and Rampart held off Rocky Mountain 65-54 Tuesday in a 5A first-round playoff game.
Rampart (15-9) next plays ThunderRidge (15-8) at 7 p.m. in Highlands Ranch. Before Tuesday, the Rams last advanced in the 5A tournament after downing Loveland on Feb. 25, 2009.
“We came in and set the tone,” said Myers, who scored 11 of her points in the first half, the last nine coming on consecutive 3-pointers. “We hit big shots and let them know that they were going to have to play catch-up the whole game. We just held it to them.”
Myers, a senior, and junior guard Lucia Archuleta both hit two 3-pointers in the first quarter, as the Rams stormed out to a 20-7 lead, then expanded the advantage to 37-19 by halftime.
“It’s an easy game when all your shots go in,” said Rams third-year coach Megan Leatham, who watched her team drain 13 of 24 shots from the field in the first half.”
At the same time, Rocky Mountain (7-17) struggled mightily from the field. The Lobos sank seven free throws to account for their only points of the first quarter and shot 3-for-24 from the field in the first half.
“I don’t know how to explain it other than we were cold in the first half,” Lobos junior post Kelcey Bedard said. “We finally warmed up in the second half. It’s been a rough season, very up and down. We’ve had some great efforts and we’re close, then we fall apart at the end.”
Trailing 46-25 entering the fourth quarter, Rocky Mountain found its scoring touch and started to cut into the lead. Asiah Lawson scored all eight of her points in the fourth quarter, and her follow off her own missed shot with 2:38 left trimmed the Rams’ advantage to 54-42.
The Lobos, who in the fourth quarter more than doubled their effort – 29 points – from the first three quarters combined, got to within single digits in the final minute but simply ran out of time.
“I wish we would have played like that in the first half,” Lobos coach Todd Matkin said. That’s the story of our season, finding that consistency and putting it all together in the same game.”
Anna Ernst led Rocky Mountain with 17 points, while Bedard added 10 along with nine rebounds.
Archuleta scored 12 points to help pace Rampart’s balanced attack, while junior Megan Kavalec and freshman Nicea Eliely chipped in with eight apiece.
“That’s a very well-coached team,” Leatham said about Rocky Mountain. “I knew they weren’t going to go away, and our girls did a great job when they made a run at us. They handled the pressure and stayed composed. The girls did a great job.”