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Peak Performer of the Week: Oliana Squires, Sand Creek
Ethan Abello, Peyton
The senior scored 24 points in a 55-34 win over The Vanguard School in the 2A District 8 semifinals and then scored 29 points in the league title game in a 61-36 win over Simla. The Panthers are 19-3 and will host Region 8 in the 2A state playoffs.
Donivan Harville, Cheyenne Mountain
The senior led Cheyenne Mountain with 18 points and 14 rebounds, as the No. 3-seeded Indians won on the road against No. 2 Pueblo East 46-37 Saturday. Harville and his teammates will face Lewis-Palmer in a clash of area teams with the winner heading to the 4A state semifinals.
Caitlin Bower, The Vanguard School
In a 58-38 win over Peyton in the 2A District 8 semifinals, Bower led the Coursers with 25 points. In the championship game against ECA the next night Bower scored 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds to help the program claim its first-ever district title.
The Sand Creek girls’ basketball team will find itself in a familiar situation Saturday. The Scorpions will be facing the same team which knocked them out of the 4A state tournament last year – in the same round.
However, when the No. 2-seeded Scorpions (21-4) take the floor to battle No. 1 D’Evelyn (24-1) – which beat Sand Creek 52-36 in the 2012 quarterfinals – they will have a player the Jaguars have never faced.
Freshman Oliana Squires has developed into one of the best scorers in the city, tallying 23 points in both a 65-49 first-round win over Erie and an 81-56 win over Sierra.
“She plays with a great deal of poise and our team has been really great about preparing our freshmen and underclassmen for what we’re about to see,” Sand Creek coach Jamie Carey said.
Squires is playing far above a freshman level right now and credits her teammates with helping her along. One teammate specifically – sister J’nae, who is a junior.
“I love playing with my sister,” the Oliana said. “We just know how to play well with each other and we know where our hot spots are on the court so we can get the ball to each other.”
Along with the Squires sisters, the Scorpions have scoring threats in Liah Davis and Mikayla Reese.
“We run a system and it works out that any night one of our players can score a lot of points, but it’s the passing that gets it done,” Carey said of the playoff wins. “I thought we shared the ball very well and we assisted on 80 percent of our baskets.”
Now the question that looms for Sand Creek is can it beat D’Evelyn and advance to the semifinals.
Even though she wasn’t part of the game last year, Oliana understands the motivation for her team.
“We definitely want revenge,” she said. “We need to play lockdown defense, execute our plays on offense and cut down on the turnovers. We’re very confident and we know we have a really good chance to win a state title this year.”
Carey says her team isn’t going to change the approach they’ve used all season.
“From year-to-year rematches are tough, and both of these teams are different, but we aren’t going to change anything because we aren’t a gimmicky team,” Carey said.