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Cinderella stays home from big dance

by David Tesitor
FOUNTAIN, CO- The La Veta lady Redskins basketball season came to an exciting end when the Evangelical Christian Academy Eagles won last Friday afternoon, 61-54, during the
Regional tournament held at the Fountain Valley Middle School.
The Redskins’ Cinderella storybook season ended when the Eagles stopped a Redskin comeback attempt midway in the third period. La Veta made a few critical turnovers which stopped their march to the madness of a state tournament berth. The Eagles entered the contest as the seventh ranked team in the state with a 20-2 record.
The Eagles opened the game with a man-to-man defense while the Redskins countered with a two-one-two. La Veta kept pace with ECA in the four minutes of the first quarter with a score deadlocked at eight.
Redskin turnovers and some hot shooting from the three-point circle by Evangelical’s Ellen Brandenstein opened the game up in favor of the Eagles 17-8 after one. The Eagles could not be stopped as they were effective from both the inside lanes and outside circles.
La Veta was able to trade buckets with ECA due in part to the strong defensive rebounding talents of Jacey Day. Day was the dominant player under the nets, pulling in 14 boards, ten on defense. By the time the second quarter ended, the Eagles hit their fourth 3-point shot to maintain a double digit lead 37-27.
The third quarter was all Redskins as the La Veta ladies came alive to open play, going on a 10 to 2 point run in the first two and a half minutes of the quarter and pulling within 2. That was as close as the Skins would get; they were unable to execute the knock-out punch. As the final minutes ticked away, the hopes of a Cinderella storybook finish to a tough season came to an end.
La Veta finished the season with a 13-9 record and second in their league. A tough district tournament finish put the Skins as the number-four seed at the Region 8 tournament, pitted against ECA. For seniors Christina Koutnik, Sami Willhoite and Cara Campbell, it was a disappointing end for the season.
Koutnik had 240 points in the season, just over 11 per game. Willhoite and Campbell had a late season surge offensively, scoring 232 and 217 points respectively in 22 games. Willhoite led the team with 87 assists and 95 steals. It was Day who dominated the boards, both offensive and defensive with 20 this season. Day will be the heir-apparent and leader of the Skins next season. La Veta courted twelve players this season. Members of the 2010-2011 Redskins Team include seniors Koutnik, Campbell and Willhoite; juniors Day, Samantha McCay, Isabel Martinez, Karley Corsentino and Brianna Crump; sophomores Ashton Rinker and Victoria Romero; freshmen Brenna Rae and Rebecca Uebler.
Congratulations to the lady Redskins who gave their fans an exciting season, showed true sportsmanship in every game, and won and lost with pride and dignity. Also, a big thank you should go out to the fans that filled the gymnasiums wherever the team played.