It's back to Boulder for the ThunderRidge girls basketball team.
After a slow start, the Grizzlies dominated the final 18 minutes of the game to defeat Lakewood 56-37 in a Class 5A Great Eight state playoff game March 5 at the Denver Coliseum to earn a ticket to the Final Four.
ThunderRidge, which lost to Broomfield in last season's state championship game, will play undefeated Grandview in one of the two semifinal games March 10 at the Coors Events Center in Boulder.
“I feel great about being in the Final Four,” said coach Matthew Asik. “I totally expected it. We felt that if we did the little things that the big prize would be there.
“We had to just focus on the fundamentals and the small things that get you there. These kids expected it, and they are playing for a purpose right now. You can just see that they are elevating their game right now. They are playing the best basketball that we've played all year.”
ThunderRidge, a No. 2 seed out of the Alice Barron region, fell behind top-seeded Lakewood 7-1, but senior Taylor Rusk helped the Grizzlies rally. ThunderRidge led by a point at the end of the first quarter, 10 at halftime, and then the team coasted to the win with a strong defensive effort.
“We knew we had to keep going and not let up with a 10-point lead at half,” said Rusk, who scored eight of the first nine points for ThunderRidge. “We took care of the ball and played really well together. I know we were a two seed, but we were expecting this and our goal is state.” MORE
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Rockies Players Mentioned in Article: Taylor Rusk, Mackenzie Forrest, Kira Emsbo, Camilla Emsbo