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Lady Chargers’ offense clicks in 2nd half

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By Michael Hicks

The first half of Chatfield’s 56-43 girls basketball victory at rival Columbine on Jan. 23 was a case of both teams having their share of struggles. The Lady Chargers failed time and again to make crisp passes in to the paint, while Columbine was forcing shots.
But in the second half it was only the Lady Rebels who struggled.
Kelsi Lawrence led a balanced Chatfield attack with a game-high 10 points as the Lady Chargers extended their winning streak over Columbine to five games. Overall, Chatfield had lost four of its previous five.
“We just all came together and said this was our game to figure it out and break through because we haven’t been. We have all the skills, we have all the potential we just needed to bring it together,” Chatfield senior Kristi Vaninger said.
The game was tied six times and there were 11 lead changes before the Lady Chargers (5-11, 3-6 5A Jeffco League) went on a 23-7 run between the third and fourth quarters to turn a four-point deficit into a 47-35 lead. Chatfield opened the spurt with eight consecutive points and never trailed again.
The lead grew to as much 14 points late in the fourth quarter because of the play of Chatfield’s defense.
“Our defense, as a team, is always really good. One we get in it, once we get into a rhythm we always shut down teams. I’m really proud of our girls,” Lawrence said.
Vaninger, Shelby Piper and Katie Glander added nine points each for Chatfield.
Momentum, seemingly, had swung Columbine’s way after Claire Neugebauer hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from 30 feet to give the Lady Rebels a 24-21 halftime lead. But Columbine had no answer for Chatfield’s offense in the second half.
“It was kind of a double-edged sword for us. We knew that they could shoot from the outside so we really tried to defend the outside. That kind of left us exposed in the middle. We had kids flying out to try to defend the three when they would get that shot. Then on the backside we didn’t have the rotation down in our zone. So it left us open on some backside rebounds, which they got and converted on,” Columbine head coach Jeff Lodden said.
“They played real good perimeter defense. We had a hard time getting it in down low where we like to get it. Then when we did get it down there we had a hard time converting,” Lodden said.
Mia Carter led the Lady Rebels (5-10, 4-4) with 10 points. Jaylee Tait added nine as Columbine had its four-game winning streak snapped.

Contact Michael Hicks at sports@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.