Girls Basketball: Grandview overwhelms Palmer to make return to 5A’s Sweet 16

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Grandview sophomore Lenzi Hudson, bottom, goes to the floor while pressuring Palmer's Tashika Burrell (11) during the first half of the Wolves' 75-48 Class 5A girls state basketball playoff second round contest on Feb. 27, 2015, at Grandview High School. The Wolves forced bushels of turnovers from the Terrors and coasted into the Sweet 16. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)
Grandview sophomore Lenzi Hudson, bottom, goes to the floor while pressuring Palmer’s Tashika Burrell (11) during the first half of the Wolves’ 75-48 Class 5A girls state basketball playoff second round contest on Feb. 27, 2015, at Grandview High School. The Wolves forced bushels of turnovers from the Terrors and coasted into the Sweet 16. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

AURORA | For a program that’s been to the Class 5A Final Four for two straight years, the Grandview girls basketball team is very low on postseason experience.

The pressure the third-seeded Wolves applied against visiting sixth-seeded Palmer Friday night helped the young squad get up big and overcome the butterflies early on its way to a 75-48 victory to earn a spot in 5A’s Sweet 16.

Grandview's Michaela Onyenwere rises for two of her 23 first-half points in the Wolves' 75-48 win over Palmer. Onyenwere, just a sophomore, passed the 1,000-point career mark in the first half and finished with 25 points. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)
Grandview’s Michaela Onyenwere rises for two of her 23 first-half points in the Wolves’ 75-48 win over Palmer. Onyenwere, just a sophomore, passed the 1,000-point career mark in the first half and finished with 25 points. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

Sophomore Michaela Onyenwere poured in a game-high 25 points — passing the 1,000-point milestone in less than two full seasons in the process — and sophomore Lenzi Hudson made five 3-pointers on her way to 22 points in a decisive victory for coach Josh Ulitzky’s Grandview team.

Senior Sierra Penn added seven points for the Wolves (20-4), who moved into the Sweet 16 and will play at second-seeded Lakewood — a 67-50 winner over seventh-seeded Legend — on March 3 at 7 p.m.

Grandview has made it to at least the Sweet 16 in four straight seasons and qualified for at least the Great 8 round at the Denver Coliseum in three straight. Only three players — Onyenwere, fellow sophomore Kennede Brown and senior Cristina Salazar — saw minutes in last season’s semifinal lost to Fossil Ridge, however.

Ulitzky’s team is the lone Aurora squad remaining in the postseason after two-time defending 5A state champion and sixth-seeded Regis Jesuit lost a tough 54-53 contest at Grand Junction and eighth-seeded Cherokee Trail fell on the road at top-seeded Broomfield.

Palmer (13-12) ended Rangeview’s season in the first round, but couldn’t withstand the pressure put on by its second Aurora foe.

Hounded every time they brought the ball up the floor, the Terrors turned the ball over more than 20 times in the first half and leading scorer Jenn Urbaniak — an Air Force recruit — managed just three points in the opening half and finished with 11.

Grandview’s lead swelled to 20 points at halftime (44-24), grew to 30 after three quarters (70-40) and never fell below 26 the rest of the way.

Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel

(3) GRANDVIEW 75, (6) PALMER 48

Score by quarters:

Palmer           8  16   16  8 — 48

Grandview  22  22  26  5 — 75

PALMER (48)

Abi Torres-Drozd 3 4-4 11, Tashika Burrell 2 4-4 8, Jenn Urbaniak 5 1-5 11, Amber Albrecht 2 4-4 8, Andrea Butts 2 0-1 4, Avad Stahl-Gomez 1 0-0 2, Kacie Fromal 0 2-2 2, Mariah Pogar 0 2-4 2, Jonnae Byas 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 17-24 48

GRANDVIEW (75)

Jaiden Galloway 1 0-0 2, Kennede Brown 4 2-2 10, Michaela Onyenwere 10 5-7 25, Cristina Salazar 1 0-0 2, Sierra Penn 3 1-2 7, Alexus Gash 0 0-0 0, Lenzi Hudson 7 3-6 22, Hannah Hastedt 2 0-0 4, Kayla Vallin 0 1-3 1, Katie Patrick 1 0-0 2, Monashay Beard 0 0-0 0. Totals 29 12-21 75.

3-point field goals — Palmer: Abi Torres-Drozd; Grandview (5): Lenzi Hudson 5. Total fouls — Palmer 17, Grandview 20. Fouled out — None. Technical fouls — None.