Girls Basketball: Grandview survives double-OT challenge from Poudre, will play for tourney title

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Grandview-Poudre Girls Basketball 12.13.13
Grandview senior Natalie Halbleib (20) holds the ball high as Poudre’s Anna Haugen (24) defends during the second quarter of the Wolves’ 65-58 double overtime win over the Impalas in a Grandview Invitational girls basketball game on Dec. 13, 2013, at Grandview High School. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

AURORA | Josh Ulitzky wanted a test for his mostly young Grandview girls basketball team and Poudre obliged Friday night.

The tenacious Impalas caught the Wolves from behind repeatedly when the teams met in the Grandview Invitational, but Ulitzky’s team eventually prevailed 65-58 in double overtime.

Freshman Michaela Onyenwere finished with a team-high 19 points — including 17 in the second half and the two overtime periods — while Grandview’s few veterans, seniors Natalie Halbleib and Katie Cunningham, combined for 30 more as the Wolves advanced to the tournament title game. They face D’Evelyn at 5 p.m. Saturday at Cherokee Trail, where the tournament shifts due to a conflict with a wrestling tournament at Grandview.

Cherokee Trail — which went 1-1 in its two tournament games Wednesday and Thursday — is set for a 3:30 p.m. contest against Dakota Ridge for third place.

At several points, Grandview (4-0) looked to pull away, but Poudre (3-2) reeled the Wolves back in on several occasions.

Grandview’s best chance to close out the game appeared early in the fourth quarter, when Onyenwere’s layup pushed its lead to 43-33.

Myanne Ham and Ceclia Berkner — who combined for 40 points, 22 for Berkner and 18 for Hamm — took over the Impalas, who inched all the way back to with in a point with 2:35 left on Berkner’s inside hoop.

Poudre went on to take its first lead of the game at 48-47 with 2:35 remaining in regulation, while the Wolves countered 15 seconds later when Onyenwere made a perfect pass to a cutting Brittany Bender for a go-ahead layup.

Two Halbleib free throws made it 52-48 Grandview with just 42.2 seconds left, but Cunningham fouled out on the defense end and Hamm made two free throws to make it a two-point game. The Impalas tied up Grandview guard Jen Jordan for a jump ball, which game the ball back to Poudre.

Berkner’s inside basket with three seconds left tied the score and the game went to overtime when Bender’s desperation heave hit the front of the rim and came out at the buzzer.

Hamm fouled out during a mostly uneventful first overtime period, in which both teams scored just four points. Again Grandview had the last possession after Reagan Travis’ layup tied it at 56-56 with 4.6 seconds left, but Jordan’s 3-pointer was short.

Halbleib knocked down a pair of foul shots to open the second overtime and Jordan tacked on a baseline jumper for a four-point lead the Wolves didn’t relinquish.

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

GRANDVIEW 65, POUDRE 58 (2OT)

Poudre           9   8   14  21  4  2 — 58

Grandview   12  10  19  11  4  9 — 65

POUDRE (58)

Reagan Travis 3 1-2 7, Cecelia Berkner 11 0-1 22, Myanne Hamm 6 6-7 18, Anna Haugen 3 0-2 7, Madison Hamm 1 1-2 3, Hailee Meiners 0 0-0 0, Anne Lonowski 0 0-0 0, Brittany Bigge 0 0-0 0, Kassidy McKevitt 0 1-2 1. Totals 24 8-14 58.

GRANDVIEW (65)

Jen Jordan 3 1-3 7, Michaela Onyenwere 7 5-6 19, Natalie Halbleib 4 6-6 18, Katie Cunningham 5 1-2 12, Brittany Bender 2 2-6 6, Kennede Brown 0 1-2 1, Cristina Salazar 1 0-1 2. Totals 22 16-26 65.

3-point field goals — Poudre: Anna Haugen; Grandview (5): Natalie Halbleib 4, Katie Cunningham. Total fouls — Poudre 16, Grandview 15. Fouled out — Poudre: Myanne Hamm; Grandview: Cunningham. Technical fouls — None.