AURORA | The Rangeview girls basketball team was seconds from the inside track to the East Metro Athletic Conference championship, but instead ended up in a mess.
The Raiders watched Brighton star Brielle Brady hit a tying jump shot in the final three seconds of regulation to send the game to overtime, then score four of her game-high 24 points in the extra session to lead the Bulldogs to a 47-44 victory Tuesday night at Rangeview High School.
Senior Carra Jackson-Brown scored 15 points and junior Desmond Allen added 11, but coach Chris Dolan’s Rangeview team dropped to 13-8 overall and 6-1 in the EMAC. The Raiders — who shot a frigid 7-for-18 from the free throw line — dropped into a three-way tie with Brighton (16-6, 6-1) and Westminster (11-10, 6-1) atop the league.
“We came out strong and we fought until the end, but they’re a good team,” Jackson-Brown said. “This one just got away. We let it get away in the fourth quarter. I honestly think we could have won.”
Because the Raiders didn’t win, the league implications now become tricky. Brighton holds a win over Rangeview, but the Bulldogs lost to Westminster, which lost to the Raiders, which could create the need for a tiebreaker if all three teams win out. The league’s top seed receives an automatic top 16 seed in the upcoming Class 5A state playoffs.
Rangeview scored the first five points of the game against Brighton and built a lead as large as 14-4 in the first quarter, keeping the Bulldogs from scoring a field goal until 1:32 remained in the period. Brady hit a pair of 3-pointers in the final minute-plus of the quarter to rally Brighton to within two points.
The Raiders managed to hold a small lead until late in the third quarter when the Bulldogs finally tied the score and the game see-sawed back and forth from there.
Brady put her team up 39-37 midway through the final quarter, but Allen answered with the tying basket with 2:07 remaining.
Rangeview went in front again when senior Tiana Cunningham came up with a steal and converted a layup for a 41-39 Raiders edge with 1:33 left.
Brighton failed to score on its next two possessions and Rangeview sophomore Jaleesa Avery got to the free throw line, but missed both attempts, giving the Bulldogs life.
After a pair of timeouts, Brighton got the ball to Brady, who hit a floater from the right baseline that tied the game at 41-41 with just under two seconds remaining.
The game reached overtime and Brady struck again with a layup, followed by two free throws from Zoe Sailas for a 45-41 advantage.
Jackson-Brown hit a free throw to make it a three-point game and after a LeShawn Love steal, Avery got fouled with 16.2 seconds remaining. She again missed both free throws and Brady made a pair on the other end for a six-point margin. Love hit a meaningless jumper at the buzzer to end the game.
“We have Prairie View and Hinkley left, so I know we’ll finish strong,” Jackson said.
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel
BRIGHTON 47, RANGEVIEW 44 (OT)
Score by quarters:
Brighton 13 9 11 8 6 — 47
Rangeview 15 10 8 8 3 — 44
Zoe Sailas 1 4-4 6, Brielle Brady 7 7-7 24, Cassie Kaiser 1 0-0 2, Aili Kremer 0 1-2 1, Brittany Zink 1 1-2 3, Sidney Potestio 1 1-2 3, Kayla Michel 2 1-2 5, Tavia Weis 1 0-1 3. Totals 14 14-19 47.
Desmond Allen 4 2-4 11, Tiana Cunningham 2 0-0 4, Carra Jackson-Brown 6 1-2 15, Jaleesa Avery 1 2-8 4, Ajanee Robinson 1 0-0 2, Jaelin Jones 2 2-4 6, LeShawn Love 1 0-0 2. Totals 17 7-18 44.
3-point field goals — Brighton (4): Brielle Brady 3, Tavia Weis; Rangeview (3): Carra Jackson-Brown 2, Desmond Allen. Total fouls — Brighton 15, Rangeview 18. Fouled out — None. Technical fouls — None.