Girls Basketball: Eaglecrest edges Overland to snap 31-game Centennial League losing skid

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Eaglecrest-Overland Girls Basketball 1.30.13
Overland junior Jaiden Halliburton (22) drives toward the basket as Eaglecrest’s Leila Malsam (13) tries to stop her during the first half of the Raptors’ 37-35 Centennial League girls basketball victory over the Trailblazers on Jan. 30, 2013, at Eaglecrest High School. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

CENTENNIAL | For the first time in three seasons, the Eaglecrest girls basketball team knows the feeling of a Centennial League victory.

The Raptors outlasted visiting Overland 37-35 on Wednesday evening, putting a stop to a 31-game losing streak in conference play that stretched all the way back to Jan. 12, 2011.

Junior Jamie Stoner posted a season-high with 17 points — including 12 in the second half — while Kelly Gillespie added seven and QiQi Brockman five as Eaglecrest secured its first Centennial League win since the second game of the 2010-11 conference season when it defeated Cherokee Trail by 15 points.

Since then, the Raptors have seen the conference losses pile up. They dropped the last 11 league games after the win over Cherokee Trail, which got revenge with an 18-point victory when the teams met a second time that season, then went 0-14 in 2011-12 and dropped their first six Centennial League games of this season.

Coach Alex Moore’s team nearly stopped the skid in its previous game, losing to Smoky Hill by just two points, but finally got it done against Overland.

“It was great for these kids, especially for the seniors, they haven’t experienced this,” said Moore, whose team improved to 5-11 overall and 1-6 in the Centennial League.

“I think our goal is to be a playoff team, but we probably have to win three more of these in the second half to do that,” he added. “It’ll be a battle, but we’ll see what we can do.”

For awhile, Eaglecrest looked like it might post a blowout against Overland (6-9, 0-7). Gillespie had half of her team’s 14 points in the first quarter and the Raptors led by 10.

The lead reached 16-4 on Mikayla Faulkner’s layup to open the second quarter, but the Trailblazers responded with an 11-0 run to pull within one.

Michaela Hinton — who led Overland with 17 points — and Gabby Davis hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the streak and Eaglecrest went into halftime with just a one-point edge.

It reached four on a 3-pointer by Stoner early in the third quarter, which brought a smile to Moore’s face.

“We don’t have a lot of size, so we shoot a lot of 3s,” he said. “So if there’s a night we knocked some down, it’s going to be fun.”

The Trailblazers ended the third quarter on a 5-0 run, however, to take a 27-25 lead into the final quarter. Hinton had six in the period.

That edge was erased immediately on a layup by Brockman, who followed that with a free throw that would put the Raptors ahead for good.

Back-to-back baskets by Stoner pushed Eaglecrest’s edge to five points and it never slipped below three the rest of the way.

Stoner and Jazmin Classen each knocked down a pair of free throws in the final 33.3 seconds to secure the victory.

As much as Eaglecrest enjoyed the victory, next up on the schedule is a formidable task in a Feb. 1 visit to Grandview, which posted a 75-19 victory over the Raptors Jan. 9.

“It’s going to be a challenge, and our girls know it,” Moore said. “We’re going to go in and see what we can do.”

Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at [email protected] or 303-750-7555

EAGLECREST 37, OVERLAND 35

Score by quarters:

Overland       4  13  10  8 — 35

Eaglecrest   14    4   7  12 — 37

OVERLAND (35)

Delorian Douglas 0 0-0 0, Lamija Spahic 0 2-4 2, Michaela Hinton 5 6-8 17, Jaiden Halliburton 2 1-3 5, Alex Jones 1 1-4 3, Gabby Davis 3 0-0 8, Teazhane McNeil 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 10-19 35.

EAGLECREST (37)

Jazmin Classen 0 2-2 2, Jamie Stoner 6 3-4 17, Kelly Gillespie 3 1-3 7, Michenzie Pace 0 0-3 0, QiQi Brockman 2 1-4 5, Leila Malsam 1 2-4 4, Mikayla Faulkner 1 0-0 2, Angelica Hayes 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 9-20 37.

3-point field goals — Overland (3): Gabby Davis 2, Michaela Hinton; Eaglecrest (2): Jamie Stoner 2. Total fouls — Overland 20, Eaglecrest 15. Fouled out — Overland: Hinton. Technical fouls — None.