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Early run fuels Chargers

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Chatfield to face Arapahoe in second round

By Brian Forbes

Be careful whom you challenge.

The Chatfield Chargers girls basketball team found themselves dared to shoot from downtown Feb. 25 by the Littleton Lions, shortly before the Chargers were dared to score inside.

They answered both challenges with aplomb.

The seventh-seeded Chargers broke the zone and beat the man defense en route to a comfortable 54-34 victory in the first round of the Class 5A state tournament.

"That’s one thing we’ve been struggling with, is we can’t get our momentum," senior guard Dilan Sutliff said. "So to get out and hit some early shots that really helped us."

Chatfield (13-11) advances in the Kaye Garms Region to face No. 2 Arapahoe (19-3) on Feb. 27.

The No. 10 Lions (11-13) opted for a zone defense and looked pretty smart as the Chargers went 0-for-5 from beyond the arc and had no way to feed the ball inside. But Sutliff connected twice from downtown to put the Chargers up by 10 and the Lions made a switch to a man defense.

That only loosened up the floor and allowed Chatfield to fan the flames. The Chargers got 3-pointers from Cassandra Hanna and Kate Kurtenbach and a seven-point burst from Chrissy Armstrong to build a 25-4 lead midway through the second quarter.

The Chargers took the rest of the quarter off, which allowed the Lions to whittle the deficit to 12 points at halftime.

"The first quarter was really good, but we slacked off in the second quarter," Chatfield senior Chelsea O’Brien said.

Chatfield put the clamps on the Lions in the third quarter, making their guests wait until the 3:28 mark for their first basket and limiting them to 2-of-10 shooting in the frame. The Chargers were up 42-20 on Kurtenbach’s second 3-pointer shortly before the fourth quarter.

Sutliff scored 12 points to lead the balanced Chargers, who got nine points from O’Brien, eight from Kurtenbach and seven points apiece from Danae Morton and Armstrong. Natalie Smart came off the bench to score six points.

Chatfield’s defense forced 30 turnovers. The Chargers limited the Lions to just 13 shots in the first half while the Chargers took 34.

Littleton    2-15-5-12—34

Chatfield    12-16-14-12—54

Littleton: Flagg 0 0-0 0, Quillen 2 3-4 7, Craver 3 5-6 11, James 2 0-0 5, Orndorff 2 0-0 4, Neal 2 0-0 5, Britz 0 0-0 0, Gruber 1 0-0 2, Eubank 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 8-10 34.

Chatfield: Kurtenbach 3 0-0 8, Sutliff 5 0-1 12, O’Brien 2 5-6 9, Morton 2 3-6 7, Armstrong 3 1-2 7, Hanna 1 0-0 3, Smart 2 0-1 6, Kotulak 0 2-2 2, Kules 0 0-0 0, Murphy 0 0-0 0, Bame 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 11-18 54.

3-point goals: Neal, James; Kurtenbach 2, Sutliff 2, Smart 2, Hanna.