Lady Chargers avenge earlier defeat, trip host Columbine

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A late-season surge puts Chatfield into the 5A state tourney

By Michael Hicks

Emily Lachenmeyer does a little bit of everything for the Chatfield Lady Chargers. She scores points — as evidenced by her game-high 18 against Columbine on Feb. 21 — she rebounds, and she gives a little bit of blood in the process.
A bloody left nostril — the third one this season — kept Lachenmeyer sidelined only momentarily in the fourth quarter. She came back in time to hit four free throws in the final minutes, including two with 1 minute, 45 seconds left that proved to be the game-winning points in Chatfield’s 53-51 victory at Columbine High School. The win avenged a 53-38 loss to the Lady Rebels a month earlier at Chatfield Senior High.
“During the first part of the season we kind of lost (our composure) during the third quarter. That’s where we lost most of our games. We finally got to scoring points in the third quarter, and we’re playing as a team now,” Lachenmeyer said.
Chatfield improved to 7-16 overall, 5-11 in the 5A Jeffco League, with its fifth win in seven games. More importantly, the late-season stretch got the Lady Chargers into the 48-team 5A state tournament. Chatfield is the No. 10 seed in the Sharon Wilch Region. It played at Legacy (9-14), the No. 7 seed, on Feb. 25. Results from that game weren’t available at press time.
While Lachenmeyer was pacing Chatfield in the low post, it was the team’s guards who were hitting from the perimeter. The Lady Chargers connected for seven 3-pointers.
“They played a lot of zone. It was really important that we hit the 3’s on the outside,” said Peyton Gibler, who added 11 points, including three 3-pointers. “We also had Emily, who was scoring a lot of points on the inside. It was a good mix.”
Indeed it was. The Lady Chargers closed the first quarter on a 19-4 run to go ahead by 13 points. Chatfield hit three 3-pointers in the quarter before Columbine went to the zone defense to slow the Lady Chargers’ outside shooters. That’s, however, when Lachenmeyer heated up. She scored 13 of her 18 points over the final three quarters.
Columbine (11-12, 7-9) pulled to within five points late in the first half and recaptured the lead 40-39 on a Tatum Barton layup with 3:44 left in the third quarter. Chatfield regained the lead and held it for much of the fourth before Bridget Snow scored two of her 16 points with 2:40 left to put the Lady Rebels ahead 51-49. That, as it would turn out, would be the final points Columbine would score, despite numerous scoring opportunities down the stretch.
Snow finished with a team-high 16 points, Barton added 13, and Jaylee Tait scored 11 for Columbine.
Despite losing seven of 10, the Lady Rebels, like Chatfield, are also headed to the 5A state tournament. Columbine opened the state tournament as the No. 9 seed in the Alice Barron Region and played at No. 8 Littleton (14-9) on Feb. 25. Results weren’t available at press time.

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