DENVER — For all of her individual accomplishments - of which there are many - Brooke Pendergraft says her biggest, and proudest, achievements are team-oriented.
Not a surprising answer considering the family atmosphere that surrounds the Dakota Ridge girls basketball team.
On March 29, Pendergraft participated in The Show all-star game at the Pepsi Center, and was on the victorious White team that eked out a 72-71 victory thanks to a 3-pointer by Brittany Long of Faith Christian with three seconds remaining.
“That was an awesome way to end the game,” said Pendergraft, who finished with four points and four rebounds. “I was honored to have been selected to be a part of this game.”
Pendergraft certainly earned the right to be on the Pepsi Center floor. She led Dakota Ridge in scoring (16.9 points per game) and rebounds (5.5), but most importantly to her, she was a key contributor on a senior-laden team that guided the Eagles into the Elite 8 round of the Class 5A state tournament.
“We had lost in the Sweet 16 the past three years,” said Pendergraft, who along with best friend, Lindsi Holm (they are both headed to Western State), played on the varsity squad since her freshman year. “It was great to finally get the team over that hurdle.”
In addition to guiding Dakota Ridge deeper into the state tournament, Pendergraft also was part of the Eagles’ remarkable 43-game win streak in Jefferson County League play. Dakota Ridge won three outright league titles in Pendergraft’s four years, and shared the honors this past season with Lakewood, although the Tigers earned the higher seed at state due to their head-to-head win over the Eagles.
“We just all really liked playing with each other,” said Pendergraft of Dakota Ridge’s success. “I think that had a lot to do with how successful we were. There was no fighting or no arguing over who scored more points.
“We were all committed to the team’s success and that was always the most important thing to us.”
Pendergraft didn’t start in The Show, but did see significant minutes off the bench. She was one of the few players on either team that attacked the offensive glass, and that effort showed in her four offensive rebounds.
Her defense was also noteworthy, as she came away with two steals and converting one into a layup.
Playing in The Show gave Pendergraft a sneak-peak into what basketball at the next level will most likely resemble. For the most part, she feels she’s ready.
“I’m going to work on my conditioning in this summer,” Pendergraft said. “I want to be in the best-possible shape when the fall begins.”