Basketball: Late surge puts Highlands Ranch over Creek

Hovasse helps Falcons overcome near-tie


Cherry Creek and Highlands Ranch High locked up in a close girls basketball game for three quarters on Dec. 8 but then Emily Hovasse took charge for the Ranch Falcons.

Hovasse, a 5-foot-7 senior, scored seven of the next 13 points for Highlands Ranch after Creek pulled to within a point at 47-46 with 5:06 remaining in the game.

The Falcons, helped by Hovasse’s scoring, went on a 14-2 run and wound up winning the game, 64-52, in the Falcons’ gym.

“She is really stepping up this year,” Ranch coach Caryn Jarocki said about Hovasse. “She’s matured as a senior to become a go-to player and she can shoot the ball.”

Both Highlands Ranch and Cherry Creek went 2-2 in an out-of-state tournament in La Jolla, California, so the Falcons improved to 3-2 and Creek fell to a 2-3 record.

Hovasse hit for 15 points in the game, two points behind Ranch’s scoring leader Katie Johanning. Alex Pirog added 10 points to the Falcons’ offense.

Highlands Ranch had a bunch of turnovers, the same as Creek, but the Falcons shot the ball well in the second half and finished the game with five 3-point baskets plus two old-fashioned 3-point plays.

The good shooting was evident in a couple of the Falcons’ runs. Ranch went on a 7-0 run early in the third quarter and finished the game by outscoring the Bruins 17-10.

“We shot much better in the second half,” said Jarocki. “We’re definitely growing, trying to learn and get better. If we can just cut down some of our turnovers in the game. It’s a long season and you want to make progress as you go.”

Freshman Tianna Chambers paced Creek with 16 points.

“We ran out of gas and threw the ball away,” said Creek coach Clint Evans. “We couldn’t finish. Give Ranch credit, they played really well. We lost to a good team. They shot the ball really well, they couldn’t miss from three.

“We’re mixing so many young kids with veterans and I think this team is just going to get better, better and better. I don’t think you’ll see the best from us until probably the playoffs.”


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