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Lady Thunderbirds finish fourth Class 2A

Posted: Tuesday, Mar 19th, 2013

Sangre de Cristo senior Kathryn New played her final game as a Thunderbird on Saturday. Courier Photo by Eric R. Flores

Courier Sports Editor

PUEBLO—The Sangre de Cristo Thunderbirds capped off the 2012 season on Saturday as they finished fourth in the 2013 Class 2A Girls State Basketball tournament by falling to the Vanguard Coursers, 52-37, here at Massari Arena on the campus of CSU-Pueblo.

Seniors Jessica Gilmore and Kathryn New finished their careers as Thunderbirds as the team’s high scorers. Gilmore, who went 6-for-9 from the free throw line on the contest led with 12 points while New, who hit a team-high four field goals, scored 11 points.

Sophomore Abbey Stagner and senior JoAnna Chandler each hit 3-pointers en route to five points and three points, respectively. Freshman Jenna McKinley, sophomore Heather Dieckman and junior Kendra Neese each hit a single jumper for two points in the game.

After jumping out to a 5-2 lead early in the first quarter after Stagner’s 3-pointer, the Thundebrirds allowed the Coursers to take a lead and could not battle back into it as they trailed 15-9 after a single quarter.

They were unable to score six points in the second quarter including four on free throws. They trailed by nine, 24-15, at the halftime break. The third quarter was a struggle for the Thundebrirds as Neese was the only player able to score points for Sangre de Cristo as the Coursers jumped on the several turnovers and scored 15 points to take a 39-17 lead entering the final quarter. Even though the Thunderbirds scored 20 points in the fourth, including nine from Gilmore, Vanguard dominated for the win.

With the loss, Sangre de Cristo finished the season with a 23-4 overall record. This capped off a season in which they went a perfect 10-0 in the Southern Peaks League. They clinched a league, district and regional championship after going on a 17-game win streak though league action and the first round of the state tournament.

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