by David J. Santisteven, Jr.
KIM — With balanced scoring, good team defense, and the willingness to hustle, the Kim/Branson Lady Mustangs (18-3) avenged a early season loss to Holly (15-6) last weekend with a easy 56-34 win in the Colorado Class 1A District-3 girls basketball championship in Lamar. Kim/Branson, the #2 overall seed heading into this weekend’s Regional girls basketball play demonstrated the heart and team work needed to advance to the state tournament next weekend.
The Lady Mustangs started off the weekend in Lamar with a D-3 semi-final win over Springfield 42-32. Senior Ashely Yergert and freshman Sidney Goode scored 11 points each while senior Joni Brown scored eight points, had five assists and, on “D,” had four steals. Yergert added eight boards. Junior Tori Goode hit key shots and ended with eight points and grabbed five rebounds. Senior Zariah Mason made some good hustle plays and helped out her teammates with seven assists and defensively had four steals.
In the Class 1A D-3 girls championship game at the Lamar Wellness Center, Kim/Branson, who had lost to Holly 39-35 earlier this year, came out with good defensive intensity and hit big shots to take an early five point lead in the first quarter. By halftime, the Lady Mustangs increased the lead to 15 points and never looked back from there, cruising to a 22 point win, the 1A D-3 girls title, and a #2 Regional seed this weekend in La Junta.
Brown, who is averaging 15 PPG and 4.2 steals per game this season, had a game high 20-points on 6 of 12 shooting from the field. Brown added seven boards, four assists and four steals. Yergert had 19 points on eight of 16 from the floor and Mason added nine boards and six steals. Kim/Branson caused over 20 Holly turnovers. As a team, the Lady Mustangs went 10 of 17 from the free-throw line, had 19 team steals, 15 team assists, and four blocked shots.
Heading into this weekend’s Class 1A Region-3 play, the Kim/Branson girls are averaging 47.0 PPG, 26.7 rebounds per game, and 11.1 assists per game. They are shooting 29% from behind the three-point line, 62% from the free-throw line and have a Class 1A girls state leading 303 team steals.
Brown, the senior guard is averaging 15.3 PPG and 4.3 steal a contest. Yergert is scoring the ball at 12.2 PPG while grabbing eight boards a game, 4.8 steals and 1.5 blocks a game.
On Saturday, the Lady Mustangs will face the winner of tomorrow’s game between #5 seed Sangre de Cristo (19-3) and #8 seed Eads (16-6), to determine the Class 1A Region 3, Bracket 2 winner. The Class 1A Region 3 Bracket 2 championship game will start at approximately1:40 pm. The winner will advance to the Colorado Class 1A Girls High School State Basketball ”Elite 8” next weekend.
Class 1A District 3 Girls Semi-Final
Springfield 04 04 10 14 32
Kim/Branson 06 07 13 16 42
Class 1A D-3 Girls Championship
Holly 08 08 07 11 34
Kim/Branson 13 17 11 15 56