Sophomore Mikenzie Jones reacts in disbelief in the final seconds of the Vista PEAK girls basketball team’s 50-49 non-league loss to Fruita Monument on Jan. 4, 2020, at Vista PEAK Prep. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

AURORA | Crunch time presented a problem to the Vista PEAK girls basketball team Saturday, simply because it hadn’t been there this season.

Coach Howard Payne’s Bison — off to an undefeated 8-0 start that included every victory by at least eight points — found itself in a high stakes finish against visiting Fruita Monument in the second game of a back-to-back coming out of winter break.

Vista PEAK had a one-point lead and the ball inside the final 30 seconds, but the missed front end of a 1-and-1 free throw and crucial turnover left it on the short end of a 50-49 decision in a battle of ranked Class 5A programs.

Senior Seairra Hughes finished with 13 points and sophomores Breanna Jefferson and Mikenzie Jones added nine apiece for the Bison, who dropped to 8-1 with a loss to the 12-1 Wildcats.

Vista PEAK and Fruita Monument played to a 40-40 tie through three quarters and traded the lead five times in the final period.

Hughes gave the Bison a 49-48 lead with 35 seconds remaining on a putback and Vista PEAK appeared in good shape when the Wildcats were called for an offensive foul on the subsequent possession and had to foul Jones intentionally with under 30 seconds remaining.

Jones — whose two made free throws had helped the Bison pull within a point earlier in the quarter — missed her attempt and Fruita Monument secured the rebound, starting a possession that ended with Kylie Wells’ layup that put the Wildcats in front.

Vista PEAK hurried the ball downcourt and Jefferson couldn’t handle a pass under pressure, giving the ball back to Fruita Monument with 3.5 seconds left.

Bailey Rigsby of the Wildcats missed the front end of her own 1-and-1 free throw chance, but the Bison didn’t have time to get off more than just a desperation shot.

Vista PEAK opens EMAC play at home at 7 p.m. Monday when Prairie View (4-4) pays a visit.

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


Score by quarters:

Fruita Monument   16  10  14  10 — 50

Vista PEAK            14  14  12    9 — 49


Emily Richardson 0 0-0 0, Bailey Rigsby 1 2-3 4, Callie Allen 4 4-7 12, Kylie Wells 5 1-2 13, Lila Dere 5 8-9 16, Lauren Hansen 0 1-3 1, Rio Groves 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 16-24 50.


Mia Payne 0 0-0 0, Seairra Hughes 6 1-2 13, Mikenzie Jones 3 2-5 9, Kaya Evans 2 0-0 5, Mikayla Jones 4 1-1 9, Breanna Jefferson 4 0-0 9, Melissa Cooke 1 0-0 3, Sydney Marchello 1 0-0 2, Kylie Severin 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 4-8 49.

3-point field goals — Fruita Monument (2): Kylie Wells 2. Vista PEAK (3): Melissa Cooke, Kaya Evans, Breanna Jefferson. Total fouls — Fruita Monument 11, Vista PEAK 17. Fouled out — None. Technical fouls — None.