- It almost didn’t seem fair.
No. 2 Lakewood, a proven power in 5A girls’ hoops this season, outmatched every girl’s team they faced this season.
That was until they faced a girl’s team that might be better than most boys’ high …
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That was until they faced a girl’s team that might be better than most boys’ high school teams in Colorado, falling 72-31 to No. 1 Regis Jesuit in the Great 8 of the state tournament Thursday at the Denver Coliseum.
After an emotional victory over Highlands Ranch just 48 hours previously, the Tigers might not have been prepared for the monster that is the Raiders.
Moreover, Regis Jesuit has a roster that features seven future Division-I players, meaning they have two girls on their roster that will being at the highest college level, yet they sit the bench for the Raiders.
And it showed. Lakewood was never really in the contest after Regis Jesuit ran out to a 24-7 first quarter lead.
Then, they were never able to surpass the double-digit mark in any of the four quarters and the Tigers became frustrated with the intensity of the Raiders’ suffocating defense.
And just like they dismantled another 5A Jeffco power in Ralston Valley in the Sweet 16 just 48 hours before, Regis Jesuit gave no mercy to Lakewood.
However, despite senior Jessica Brooks and senior Gabby Carbone both playing in their last ever games, Lakewood has plenty to be proud of and the future is very bright.
The Tigers (24-2, 16-0 in 5A Jeffco) recorded one of their best seasons in school history, losing only twice while going perfect in 5A Jeffco, beating Ralston Valley twice.
In addition, Brooks and Carbone were the only two seniors on a team that is bringing back 10 varsity members, including sophomore Mackenzie Forrest.
Forrest was a breakout star for Lakewood this season, averaging 19.4 points per game as well as four steals per game. As a sophomore Forrest is already one of the best players in the state.
Look for the Tigers to enter next season as one of the top ranked teams in Colorado.
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